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Bloomberg: “Michael J. Fox and Sergey Brin Take Their Push for a Parkinson’s Cure to the Next Level”

Bloomberg News cover picture with Michael J. Fox

“Together the two groups are now putting more than $350 million a year into Parkinson’s research, more than the National Institutes of Health, with hundreds of millions of dollars more likely over the next several years.” 

As we approach the close of a year like no other for Parkinson’s science and the promise that lies ahead, award-winning health and science Bloomberg journalist Robert Langreth gives readers an inside look at the watershed year for Parkinson’s research through his published article titled, “Michael J. Fox and Sergey Brin Take Their Push for a Parkinson’s Cure to the Next Level.” The piece highlights The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) pivotal role in its 23-year history, including funding nearly $2 billion in global Parkinson’s research with transformative support from the Sergey Brin Family Foundation through its Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative.  

The article features interviews with world-renowned scientists, thought leaders, MJFF executives and Michael J. Fox on the Foundation’s early history and vision.  

The Bloomberg story depicts the earliest days of the Foundation as Michael shared key instructions at its first board meeting: “I would like you to help me go out of business.” 

The piece discusses how the Foundation’s goals to drive a diverse therapeutic pipeline through “de-risking” of Parkinson’s research — coupled with the strategic partnerships of ASAP — have optimized and accelerated critical breakthroughs that patients and families urgently need. As Langreth writes, “The Fox Foundation has spread its bets widely.” 

The piece also shares the momentum being felt across the field from the April 2023 validation of a test that can detect early pathology of PD even before symptoms begin — a finding made possible through the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI).  

The tool, called the α-synuclein seeding amplification assay (αSyn-SAA), can detect pathology in spinal fluid not only in people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but also in individuals who have not yet been diagnosed or shown clinical symptoms of the disease, but are at a high risk of developing it. (Read more in MJFF’s “Year in Review” publication

With the new biomarker in hand, combined with existing tools to determine Parkinson’s risk, Bloomberg’s piece shares the emerging next steps being led by MJFF and ASAP toward trials aimed at disease progression and prevention.  

“When Michael and I talk about what’s been made possible by the work of his Foundation, it’s brought an ability to really empower the patients to be part of the solutions they’re looking for,” says MJFF CEO and Co-Founder Debi Brooks in a Bloomberg Businessweek video accompanying the story.  

Read the entire Bloomberg Businessweek story here.

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