Pharma Focus Europe and the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) Initiate Partnership for Human Cell Products in Parkinson's Disease Research and Drug Discovery

Wednesday, March 06, 2024 and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) have initiated a groundbreaking partnership aimed at transforming the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). The collaboration, spanning multiple years, will focus on developing and distributing innovative human cell products tailored to PD.

Under this partnership, will generate both normal human cells and disease model cells relevant to PD through specific project agreements. MJFF will provide funding for individual projects, with the initial project focusing on identifying TF combinations for a key human cell type in PD and transforming it into a valuable resource for the PD research community.

PD arises from the dysfunction or death of dopaminergic neurons, leading to a range of debilitating symptoms including movement disorders, depression, and memory impairment. With its prevalence projected to increase significantly in the coming years, there is an urgent need for improved research tools.

Currently, PD researchers heavily rely on animal models and human iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons, which are beset by limitations such as lengthy and inconsistent protocols. Access to reliable and scalable human cell models holds promise for unraveling the complex mechanisms underlying PD.

Nicole K. Polinski, PhD, Director of Research Resources at MJFF, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, highlighting the critical need for accessible and well-characterized tools to advance PD research and therapeutic interventions.'s ioCells™ products, including those developed under the MJFF partnership, are meticulously engineered using its opti-ox technology. These cells offer unparalleled scalability, consistency, and simplicity of handling, providing a significant advantage for researchers.

Mark Kotter, CEO of, emphasized the importance of the collaboration in expediting the development and dissemination of human cell types and disease models for PD research. He commended MJFF's groundbreaking work in advancing PD understanding and treatment and expressed his team's commitment to delivering impactful results under the collaboration.



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