A new device that may improve the autonomy and quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease will be tested in a 19-month study that combines the products and skills of two companies, Aguettant and French company Biocorp. The collaborative study, part of the APOKONNECT project, will be funded by the Regional Health Agency, the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region (ARS) and Bpifrance.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects about 200,000 people in France. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s disease. Population prevalence of PD increases from about 1% at age 60, to 4% by age 80. Early symptoms include tremor, rigidity and difficulty walking; cognitive decline is common at later stages. The therapeutic care of PD is complex and intense, especially in the case of motor skill fluctuations, and demands regular patient monitoring.
For 19 months the APOKONNECT project will test the combination of Aguettant’s apomorphine self-injection pen (APOKINON) with Easylog, Biocorp’s connecting device. Easylog will be connected to the apomorphine self-injection pen and gather data about patients’ symptoms and treatments on a tablet computer or smartphone via a secured app.
Apomorphine reverses the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and belongs to medications in the class of dopamine agonists, which directly stimulate dopamine receptors. Marketed as APO-go in the U.K. and certain EU countries (Apokyn in the U.S., Apomine in Australia and Apokinon in France), it is available as an intermittent injection or via continuous infusion.
Easylog is a new add-on to improve patients’ adherence to injections and the first internet-connected system of its kind. The project aims to connect patients to healthcare professionals involved in a PD patient’s treatment, which will enable improvements in care and enable ambulatory treatment with apomorphine.
The study will test the system integration and evaluate its everyday utilization as well as the preparation of the deployment. The tests, which will be conducted initially across the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, will then be deployed on a larger scale, according to a press release.
“Biocorp’s developments, namely in the e-health field, have always been driven by one major stake: Improve the healthcare of patients suffering from chronic diseases. We wish to bring efficient and durable systems dedicated to the improvement of patients’ daily lives and which contribute to the enhancement of the healthcare and medical support. Parkinson’s disease, which is a new therapeutic indication covered by Biocorp, opens new business perspectives and confirms our strategic development. We are pleased to collaborate with Aguettant and all the partners involved in this promising project,” Jacques Gardette, Biocorps’ CEO and co-founder, said in the press release.
“Aguettant has been a key player in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease for many years. Our leading product APOKINON, and collaboration with French neurologists, have driven improvements in the healthcare of this pathology. The APOKONNECT project fits into this framework and will combine Aguettant’ and Biocorp’s potential for innovation, the expertise of our academic teams involved in the medical progress and the globalization of our therapeutic offer,” said Eric Rougemond, Aguettant Laboratory’s CEO.