Clinical Trial Halfway Point (07:23)
After two years and nine infusions of a placebo or drugs, all volunteers receive GDNF treatments for nine months. Tom Isaacs's symptoms are worsening; Parkinson's degenerates neural cells that plan and execute movements.
Optimistic Trial Results (03:52)
Volunteers Darren Calder and Bryn Williams believe they are in the placebo group; they feel the same or worse during the first nine months. After infusions of GDNF, both experience significant motor skills improvements.
Requirements and Mixed Results (04:05)
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals' support is essential to licensing and making GDNF publicly available; they seek understanding of the drug's treatment scope. Ron Johnson and his wife discuss improvements in his cognitive abilities and depression; Isaacs continues to decline.
Most Advanced Volunteer (07:46)
GDNF is believed to regenerate dopamine producing brain cells destroyed by Parkinson’s. Isaacs's MRI scan reveals a drug delivery problem that is corrected with surgery; after healing, he resumes infusions.
Diminishing Symptoms (04:42)
Only a few weeks remain of GDNF trials; all volunteers are on active infusions and more show improvements. Kay Cotton and Vicki Dillon believe they received real treatment from the beginning. Isaacs shows 50% gain in movement control.
Results Day (05:13)
Alan Whone tells the Parkinson's Drug Trial Steering Committee that GDNF tests failed to meet the required margin between placebo and active treatment outcomes. He makes a conference call to volunteers, informing them of the unfortunate news.
Secondary Findings (05:50)
Further data analysis reveals GDNF trial successes and a significant clinical impact, increasing dopamine production by 100%. Volunteers discover the placebo group status.
Emotional Conclusions (04:21)
Volunteers hope to continue infusions after GDNF trials end in March 2017. In May, Isaacs dies; postmortem examination reveals myocarditis as the cause of death.
Commercial Decisions (06:01)
In January 2018, Pfizer pulls neuroscience research and funding, dropping GDNF testing. Gill and volunteers respond in anger and disappointment. MedGenesis attempts to raise money for Phase III trials.
Credits: The Parkinson's Drug Trial - A Miracle Cure? Episode Two (00:36)
Credits: The Parkinson's Drug Trial - A Miracle Cure? Episode Two
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