XenoPort plans to examine the ability of XP23829 to prevent or decrease neurodegeneration in a preclinical model in which the neurotoxin MPTP selectively attacks dopamine neurons like those affected by Parkinson’s disease. The studies are designed to examine how the timing of the treatment may effect the progression of neurodegeneration in this model. Various treatment regimens will be examined to determine if XP23829 could prevent damage once neurodegenerative processes have occurred.Ronald W. Barrett, Ph.D., chief executive officer of XenoPort, said, “We thank The Michael J. Fox Foundation for enabling XenoPort to evaluate XP23829 for its possible benefits to Parkinson’s patients. This will allow us to extend our preclinical studies of XP23829, which we hope will provide new insights to treating Parkinson’s disease.” XenoPort is developing novel fumaric acid esters compounds that are prodrugs of MMF. Preclinical studies of one of these compounds, XP23829, have shown reduced gastric irritation compared to DMF in preclinical models. About Parkinson's Disease Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that results from the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. Current treatments for Parkinson’s disease are able to reduce the symptoms of the disease but are not able to treat the underlying neurodegenerative processes that lead to a decline in physical and cognitive functions that affects some patients with Parkinson’s disease. An oral drug that could slow or prevent neurodegeneration might be able to decrease the disability progression that some patients experience in the disease. It is estimated that as many as 1.5 million people in North America are living with Parkinson’s disease. According to the National Institute of Neurodegenerative Disease and Stroke (NIH), the average age of onset is 60, though some people are diagnosed at age 40 or younger. About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research As the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $297 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. Now through December 31, 2012, all new and increased giving to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, as well as gifts from donors who have not given since 2010 or earlier, will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge, launched by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki.