Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Foundation’s many efforts toward obliterating Parkinson’s disease have helped push forward a “rescue therapy” for patients in the form of an easy-to-use inhaler.
Fox and his wife Tracey Pollan formed the foundation in 2000 after the beloved television and movie actor developed the disease in 1991 at the age of 29.
Bloomberg reported on the new innovation, pushed forward in part, through the efforts of Fox’s foundation.
Fox spoke to Bloomberg regarding his life with Parkinson’s.
“It’s a lousy disease to have,” said Fox.
There may be hope for Fox and others like him living with Parkinson’s with the development of a new medication that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved earlier this month, reported Bloomberg.
The drug is called Inbrija, and while it doesn’t cure Parkinson’s, it’s a so-called rescue therapy that will greatly benefit Parkinson’s patients, said Bloomberg.
The news outlet stated that “Inbrija exists only because of the efforts of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which Fox founded in 2000. What’s more, it’s the first drug to be approved for treatment in which the Fox Foundation played a significant role in both the approach and the funding.”
The company’s former chief executive Glenn Batchelder noted to Bloomberg that the Fox Foundation’s scientists had come up with a technology that made it possible for certain drugs to be breathed in through an asthma-style inhaler.
Parkinson’s sufferers have times when their symptoms return between their doses of daily medication and the ability to get relief via an inhaler is groundbreaking.
In the 18 years since its inception, the foundation has raised and spent over $800 million, per Bloomberg, with the monies going toward scientists who have made serious advances toward understanding what causes Parkinson’s.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s emphasis is not on patient advocacy. Bloomberg reported that instead, its goal was to find a cure for Parkinson’s.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation uses its funding to help with research to achieve its goals. The news site noted that the foundation has a “deep knowledge of the Parkinson’s patient population, and could help scientists get the patients they needed for FDA trials.”
While this new technology will not cure the disease, the Fox foundation continues to work toward its goal of eradicating Parkinson’s.
“It may not be there for me,” he acknowledged to Bloomberg. “But I’m absolutely sure we are on a path to answer the questions about what causes Parkinson’s and how to cure it.”
Fox is best known for his work on the hit 1980s series Family Ties and his portrayal of the character of Marty McFly in the Back to the Future series of films.