Scientific Liaison Group Meeting December 2011

Scientific Liaison Group Meeting December 2011

To accelerate the discovery of biomarkers for Parkinson's Disease (PD), the NINDS is establishing the Parkinson’s Disease Biomarkers Program (PDBP). The main goal of the PDBP is to develop biomarkers that will facilitate phase II testing of neuroprotective agents that slow or halt the progression of PD. Such biomarkers would provide objective measures of disease progression or disease pathophysiology that might be the target of a therapeutic agent. Since useful candidate PD biomarkers have not yet been identified, this program will include funding for clinical and laboratory based discovery projects designed to identify promising biomarkers for PD.  Since sharing of data and biological samples will be a core feature of the PDBP, this program will also support a biorepository and a data management resource that will coordinate all these projects and provide access to data and biological samples collected in a standardized manner.  For more information please see

The most promising candidates identified by the PDBP will be validated in a large cohort. The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has established the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), a project that collects biosamples and clinical data in a repository to enable biomarker validation. The planned NINDS effort will focus on the early stages of developing projects, which may translate into validation studies via PPMI or other efforts.

Due to the complexities of designing such a program, NINDS convened a meeting of the PDBP Scientific Liaison Group to obtain the opinions of experts in the fields of biomarkers and PD.  During this meeting, the PDBP Scientific Liaison Group made recommendations for accelerating the development of biomarkers to enable phase II or III neuroprotection trials. The primary goals of this meeting were to 1) define critical features of a biomarker program focused on disease progression; 2) establish five year goals for the biomarker program; 3) propose a strategy for accomplishing those goals; and 4) where possible, prioritize strategies. The Scientific Liaison Group meeting discussed three components of the PDBP: 1) data management resource; 2) clinical cohorts; and 3) laboratory-based discovery science.

Participant List
Executive Summary  

Katrina Gwinn, M.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Phone: 301-496-5745