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Companies Partner on Optimal Parkinson’s Drug Delivery

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(NIH.gov)

13 June 2022. Two companies are developing a system to identify optimal times for people with Parkinson’s disease to take their symptom-reducing medications. And as part of the deal, Gerresheimer AG in Dusseldorf, Germany is one of the seed-round funders of Adamant Health Oy in Kuopio, Finland.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition where the brain produces less of the neurotransmitter dopamine, an amino acid that sends signals from one neuron or nerve cell to another. Because of that lower level of dopamine, people with Parkinson’s disease are less able to control their bodily movements and emotions. Tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease can be treated with drugs and deep-brain stimulation, where an implanted device surgically sends electrical signals into affected brain regions.

Adamant Health is a two year-old enterprise founded by researchers at University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio that aims to improve day-to-day tracking of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Saara Rissanen, the company’s chief technology officer and co-founder, is a physicist who applies electromyography to Parkinson’s disease analytics. Electromyography is a diagnostic technique using electrical signals from electrodes to assess muscles and nerve cells in real time for dysfunctional muscle activity and nerve-to-muscle signaling.

The Adamant Health technology uses a sensor that continuously captures electromyography and other muscle activity, then analyzes the data with algorithms to alert for adverse events and find optimal times for taking symptom-control medications. “The service,” says Adamant co-founder and CEO Paulus Carpelan in a statement, “enables physicians to individualize their treatment based on detailed visibility on their patient’s symptoms and overall situation.”

Devices worn on or close to the body

In a paper published in April 2022, Rissanen and colleagues describe the use of electromyography sensors with 13 Parkinson’s disease patients to guide their use of deep-brain stimulation. Findings from the sensors enabled the study team to adjust patients’ deep-brain stimulation that reduced overall scores on a standard Parkinson’s disease symptom rating scale.

Gerresheimer provides drug administration and packaging technologies to pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies. Among the company’s technologies are devices worn on or close to the body that read signals for guiding release of drugs to the wearer. One of the devices is a small pump called D-mine developed for the specialty drug company Ever Pharma to guide administering a tremor-control drug for people with Parkinson’s disease.

In their deal, Gerresheimer and Adamant Health are adapting Adamant’s sensors and algorithms to Gerresheimer’s D-mine pump device to guide administration of Parkinson’s disease drugs. The objective is to provide continuous and more personalized drug treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease, including when at home.

Gerresheimer is also taking part in Adamant Health’s seed funding round, raising a total of €2.2 million ($US 2.3 million). Other seed investors so far are Voima Ventures and Cor Group, as well as several angel investors. “Our common goal,” says Gerresheimer CEO Dietmar Siemssen in a statement, “is to optimize the treatment of Parkinson’s and to improve the patient’s quality of life dramatically. The investment is part of our strategic expansion into personalized drug delivery devices combined with platform-based and digital disease monitoring.”

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