Next Steps in Clinical Research for Parkinson’s Patients

Sponsored by: Covance

Focused on:

  • Parkinsons
  • Disease Modifying Therapies

Date: 17 September


Time: 3PM London/10AM New York

The majority of treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD) manage only the symptoms of the disease and, despite extensive research, patients are still waiting for a treatment that can halt or even reverse the course of this chronic neurodegenerative disease. Cutting-edge research in Parkinson’s Disease involves testing disease-modifying therapies but many questions remain about how to best run a trial and include appropriate clinical endpoints.

This webinar will discuss the current landscape in PD research and include perspectives on the future direction of research. A Q&A format between the webinar’s thought leaders will cover the role of biomarkers such as protein alpha-synuclein (SNCA) and skin biopsies, bioimaging and other strategies to optimize trial design and accelerate progress in this inherently difficult research area.

Presented by

Francisco J. Martinez-Torres, MD, PhD,

Senior Medical Director, Neuroscience

Francisco J. Martinez-Torres is a physician and scientist with a clinical background in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Neurology (Stroke). He joined Covance as Senior Medical Director for Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, & Women’s Health in 2018 with 18 years of clinical research experience. He has extensive translational and clinical research experience in Neuroscience, Immunology, and HIV, in both academia and industry. His pharmaceutical development expertise encompasses clinical programs Phases I to III, and diverse therapeutic platforms (e.g., small molecules, biologicals, gene therapy) in the Neuroscience and Rare Disease spaces.

Dr. Martinez-Torres completed his residency and was an attending physician at Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social in Mexico. He went on to complete a Clinical & Research Fellowship at University of Heidelberg in Germany and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in HIV Research at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hubert H. Fernandez, MD,

James and Constance Brown Endowed Chair in Movement Disorders, Professor of Medicine (Neurology) Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Hubert H. Fernandez, MD, is professor of Medicine (Neurology) at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; chair/director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the holder of the James and Constance Brown Family Endowed Chair in Movement Disorders.

Dr. Fernandez received both his BS in Biology and MD degree from the Philippines. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at University of Pennsylvania/Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; his residency in Neurology at Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts; and his fellowship in Movement Disorders at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Dr. Fernandez is an internationally recognized expert in movement disorders who has been voted one of the Best Doctors in America by his peers. After completing his medical training, he joined the faculty of Brown University School of Medicine as assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences. In 2003, Dr Fernandez relocated to the University of Florida, where he eventually became director of the Clinical Research Unit for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders, vice chair of Academic Affairs, and Professor of Neurology prior to joining Cleveland Clinic. An active and productive researcher, he has initiated or participated in over 150 clinical trials and has published his findings in over 300 articles on Parkinson’s disease, DBS, behavioral and non-motor features of PD, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, and other movement disorders. He has written a dozen books and has published 50 book chapters. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, and has served on the editorial board of Movement Disorders and several other peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Fernandez is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association. He is currently elected for his second term as the co-chair of the Parkinson Study Group, secretary of the International Association for Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, and secretary of the Pan American Section of the Movement Disorders Society. He served his third term as co-medical editor of the Movement Disorders Society Website, which awarded by the Standard of Excellence Award by the WMA in 2015. He has been a councilor for the AAN Movement Disorders Section, Executive Committee Member of the Parkinson Study Group and Dystonia Study Group and served as the president of the Florida Society of Neurology and World Neurology Foundation. He was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award by the Movement Disorders Society at the 16th International Congress for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.

Jan de Witt, MD,

Vice President, Global Therapeutic Area Head Neuroscience, Ophthalmology & Women’s Health

Jan de Witt is a medical doctor by training and has worked for pharmaceutical companies and CRO’s for more than 25 years. He has been responsible for the delivery of international multicenter studies, mainly Ph II-III, varying from cardiovascular, CNS and oncology; followed by more than 5 years of experience in strategic partnership development on a global basis between CRO and pharma/biotech.

Key Learning Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of PD research to date
  • Learn about the role of novel biomarkers in PD research
  • Hear a scientific discussion about the utility of select clinical endpoints
  • Get new perspectives on the future outlook for PD research


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