Tomorrow the UK will celebrate (or not) the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But the royal marriage isn’t the only notable coupling this week. On Tuesday Medtronic joined forces with Eli Lilly to take aim at Parkinson’s disease.
The two are collaborating to develop a new treatment that seeks to combine the pharmaceutical giant’s biologic with the medical device maker’s implantable drug delivery system.
"One of the most significant challenges in delivering a biologic treatment for neurodegenerative diseases is crossing the blood brain barrier,” Steve Oesterle, MD, senior vice president of medicine and technology at Medtronic, said in a statement. “We have extensive experience in targeted drug delivery and technology that allow delivery of therapeutic agents directly to the brain."
This isn’t the first time Medtronic and Lilly have joined hands. The companies allied in 2009 to improve delivery of diabetes education for insulin-taking patients and their caregivers.
Katie Hood, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research praised the newest collaboration but cautioned that a treatment approach is still many years away.
Worldwide, approximately 7 million to 10 million people live with the neurodegenerative condition, which causes tremors and other movement and coordination problems. The April 26 announcement came just in time: April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.