The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Verily Life Sciences LLC, an Alphabet company has announced a new collaboration on a two-year sub-study in Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative will include Verily Study Watch to add new dimension of health data. More than 800 participants will be equipped with Verily’s multi-sensor investigational wearable device, to passively collect data on movement and physiologic and environmental measures continuously. The goal is to use wearable devices in conjunction with clinic-based data and biospecimen collection to home in on disease markers with the greatest potential to open promising avenues for further scientific inquiry.
MJFF-led longitudinal Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative Details
The two-year study builds on PPMI infrastructure and grows the value of PPMI’s unparalleled clinical, imaging, and biological dataset — the most robust and furthest along in Parkinson’s research. Launched in 2010, PPMI aims to deepen understanding of Parkinson’s and validate objective measures of the disease and today is carried out at 33 clinical sites around the world (21 in the United States) with support from 22 industry partners. Volunteers with Parkinson’s disease or at-risk for Parkinson’s as well as control volunteers will be followed for a duration of at least five years and up to 13 years.
As part of the collaboration, Verily and PPMI will make raw and curated data available to the worldwide research community to drive independent studies and speed knowledge turns in Parkinson’s therapeutic development. PPMI data, available in real time since the study’s launch, has been downloaded more than 1.7 million times to date, alongside biospecimens collected from study participants using a rigorously standardized protocol.
Data and analysis generated through that initiative will be available through the AMP PD Knowledge Portal, created by Verily. AMP PD and the PPMI wearables project are complementary initiatives — generating data on both the molecular fingerprint and the clinical footprint of the disease. In addition, Verily and MJFF also have collaborated on promotion of the company’s Liftware, a selection of adaptive products designed as aids to people with hand tremor or limited mobility.
“Verily’s broadest goal as a company is to build tools to make data useful for obtaining deeper and more relevant insights to improve health — whether through earlier diagnosis, accelerated therapy development, or more effective disease management,” says William Marks, MD, MS, Head of Clinical Neurology at Verily. “These results are urgently needed across many neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. By capturing a wealth of data through studies such as PPMI and by deploying technology such as our Study Watch, we aim to build frameworks of multi-dimensional data of value to researchers, clinicians, and data scientists.”
Building on Established Relationship
Today’s announcement builds off MJFF and Verily existing partnership in the Accelerating Medicines Partnership Parkinson’s disease (AMP PD) program, a public-private collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), MJFF, and five life sciences companies and managed by the Foundation for the NIH. AMP PD is applying state-of-the-art cellular profiling technologies to samples collected through PPMI and other large-scale studies to define the molecular fingerprint of Parkinson’s disease.