Nov 292011

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has awarded a grant to Civitas Therapeutics to support development of the company’s lead product, CVT-301, an inhaled levodopa (L-dopa) formulation for the treatment of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. CVT-301 is a carrier-free dry powder formulation based on Civitas’s proprietary Arcus particle engineering technology and delivered using the Arcus breath-actuated DPI. Civitas was launched this year as a spin-out of the Alkermes respiratory delivery business, and the Arcus technology was originally developed by Alkermes.

The company expects to begin clinical trials by the end of 2011 and to complete proof-of-concept by the end of 2012. The grant will support development to that point. The total amount of the grant was not disclosed.

Civitas CEO Glenn Batchelder commented, “We are proud to be recognized by The Michael J. Fox Foundation with this award. This provides important validation of our vision to improve Parkinson’s patients’ lives with an inhaled L-dopa therapeutic by overcoming the historical challenges in developing a better way to administer L-dopa.”

MJFF CEO Todd Sherer added, “Our Foundation believes the challenges associated with L-dopa delivery represent a critical unmet need in Parkinson’s disease. We are optimistic that CVT-301’s novel approach could provide an opportunity to improve the standard of care for those living with the disease.”

“Patients with Parkinson’s disease face the constant challenge of maintaining adequate therapeutic L-dopa levels which is difficult using the existing oral L-dopa regimens,” explained Matthew Stern, Director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center of the University of Pennsylvania Health System; “CVT-301 shows promise as an important new treatment option for patients managing their symptoms.”

Read the Civitas press release.