Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Verily joins The Michael J. Fox Foundation's Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative

Verily joins The Michael J. Fox Foundation's Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative

We are pleased that Verily will be joining a groundbreaking initiative sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research: the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). This landmark longitudinal study seeks to discover biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its progression. As a research partner for the initiative, Verily will provide our multi-sensor investigational wearable device, the Verily Study Watch*, to more than 800 U.S.-based PPMI study participants. Adding biosensor data from the Verily Study Watch provides a new axis of information for the already robust data set being built by our PPMI collaborators. In combination with the deep clinical, molecular, and imaging data already being collected in PPMI, these biosensor data will enhance the ability to define better markers for the diagnosis and progression of PD as well as new endpoints for therapeutic trials. The ultimate goal is to advance new treatments and ultimately find a cure for this disorder, which affects millions of people worldwide.

Finding objective measurements of Parkinson’s disease is an important step toward developing new and more effective treatments. Parkinson’s disease looks different from person to person, and within the same person from hour to hour. As someone who has spent the bulk of her career analyzing signals collected from biosensors and trying to understand their relationship to underlying biology, I know how difficult it is to differentiate actual disease progression from treatment effects and measurement variability. Thus, Verily is setting out to build the devices, algorithms, and analytic outputs that bring relevant and reliable measurements to aid in the diagnosis and management of conditions like Parkinson’s disease. People with PD can experience disordered movement, sleep, cognition, and mood, making the disease an excellent model system to develop tools meant to assess these functions. Verily’s goal is to build digital and other approaches that give us a clearer understanding of PD. Our aim is to help researchers and therapeutic partners accelerate the development of treatments and to help clinicians monitor disease in real time to guide treatment and improve outcomes.

Michael J. Fox (center) and Todd Sherer, MJFF CEO (center-left) with MJFF and Verily team members during a visit to Verily's headquarters in 2017

The PPMI collaboration marks the next chapter in an ongoing relationship between Verily and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. MJFF, Verily, and other industry partners recently announced their participation in the National Institutes of Health Accelerating Medicines Partnership Parkinson’s disease (AMP PD) program, another ambitious effort to advance our understanding of PD. Verily is building a Knowledge Portal for the AMP PD program to enable the sharing and analysis of de-identified data across all of the studies in the partnership, of which the PPMI is one.

We are excited to expand Verily’s portfolio of efforts aimed at furthering our understanding of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions, such as the Personalized Parkinson Project and the SysteMS study. We at Verily endeavor to collect, organize, and activate this biosensor, molecular, and imaging data in order to derive deeper insights into neurological diseases, assist in bringing better treatments to those affected by these disorders, and ensure better health outcomes so that people can enjoy healthier lives.

*Verily Study Watch is an investigational device and has not been cleared or approved by the FDA

Posted By Ritu Kapur, PhD, Product Manager, Neurology Platform