The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded a $1.35 million research grant to Rhythm, a Boston company focused on peptide therapeutics for metabolic diseases.
In a Tuesday press release announcing the award, Rhythm said that the foundation’s grant will be used to help fund a clinical trial of RM-131, the company’s drug candidate for the treatment of refractory constipation in patients with Parkinson’s disease. According to Rhythm, RM-131 is a small-peptide analog of ghrelin, a hormone produced in the stomach that stimulates gastrointestinal activity.
“Refractory constipation is a significant issue in Parkinson’s disease, and this first study of RM-131 in Parkinson’s patients is focused on this disorder,’’ Rhythm chief executive Keith Gottesdiener, MD, said in a statement. “As we continue our work to advance RM-131 in the clinic, we are excited to join with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to address this important unmet need in Parkinson’s disease.’’
About one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease. And studies report that more than 50 percent of Parkinson’s Disease patients suffer from moderate to severe constipation, Rhythm’s press release noted.