Cure Parkinson’s Richard Wyse honored by King Charles

Director of clinical development noted on monarch's New Year's Honours List

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by Mary Chapman |

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Richard Wyse, MD, director of clinical development at Cure Parkinson’s, is among those in the United Kingdom (U.K.) recognized for their services to the public through inclusion on His Majesty The King’s New Year’s Honours List.

Wyse, recognized for his work with Parkinson’s disease, is among the award’s 1,200 recipients this year. Award nominations are open to the public, with an honor’s committee sending its recommendations to the prime minister. The list then is forwarded to the ruling monarch, King Charles III, who ultimately decides who will be honored.

“The New Year Honours List recognises the exceptional achievements of people across the country and those who have shown the highest commitment to selflessness and compassion,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a government release. “To all honourees, you are the pride of this country and an inspiration to us all.”

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Wyse has worked to advance potential disease-modifying treatments

Wyse joined Cure Parkinson’s in 2007, two years after the nonprofit’s establishment, following work in cardiology and genetics. At the time, the outlook in Parkinson’s research was “bleak,” according to a Cure Parkinson’s press release.

Recognizing the urgent need to create an innovative Parkinson’s research program, Wyse established the International Linked Clinical Trials Initiative (iLCT) in 2012. The iLCT works to accelerate the development and clinical testing of potential disease-modifying therapies, those aiming to slow, stop, or reverse Parkinson’s.

The global program operates in partnership with the Van Andel Institute in the U.S. Its centerpiece is an annual two-day meeting at which a committee of Parkinson’s experts assess, rank, and prioritize more than a dozen medicines, many already treating other disorders, according to their potential to be disease modifying for Parkinson’s patients.

To date, the ILCT has completed 20 clinical trials of treatment candidates, and has 21 clinical studies underway, according to Cure Parkinson’s, which funds disease research. More than 4,700 Parkinson’s patients have participated in iLCT efforts.

Results of three recent iLCT Parkinson’s clinical studies suggested a potential for treatment in medicines used for type 2 diabetes and liver disease, with more trial results expected this year. Research has indicated a possible relationship between Parkinson’s and diabetes.

A recent meta-analysis of controlled clinical studies also found that newer type 2 medications to lower glucose levels, compared with a placebo, appear to decrease the risk of Parkinson’s. Another analysis showed that Parkinson’s patients at high risk of liver scarring (fibrosis) declined faster cognitively than those at lower risk.

Wyse, who played a key role in the first multi-arm Parkinson’s clinical trial that opened in Australia in 2020, also gives his time and advice to organizations working to advance research in other neurodegenerative disorders, from motor neurone disease to Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and multiple sclerosis.

“We are so delighted that Richard’s vision, hard-work, creative thinking, scientific skill and sheer determination to find a cure has been so deservedly recognized,” said Helen Matthews, Cure Parkinson’s CEO. “His contribution to the field of Parkinson’s research is completely unique, and has inspired so many.”