​​David Devos, Caroline Moreau and team​

​​A game-changer treatment for severe Parkinson's symptoms​

Technical field
Medical technology
​​Lille University Hospital, University of Lille, Inserm​
​​Anaerobic dopamine, or A-dopamine, can be administered directly to the brain to improve treatment of advanced Parkinson’s Disease symptoms through a dosing pump developed by David Devos and Caroline Moreau and their team.

Approximately 10 million people worldwide are affected by Parkinson’s Disease (PD), with patients experiencing symptoms such as tremors and gait disorder. A dopamine deficiency has long been associated with PD, however, dopamine cannot cross the digestive barrier and blood-brain barrier, making the deficiency difficult to combat. Levodopa, a dopamine precursor, can cross these barriers but also be absorbed by cells throughout the body that don't require it, resulting in only small amounts of dopamine reaching the brain. For patients, relief may be short-lived as symptoms return once the medication begins to wears off.

Previous efforts also showed dopamine was ineffective when oxidised. To combat this, Devos and Moreau developed anaerobic dopamine or A-dopamine. The oxygen in a dopamine solution is replaced with dioxide and nitrogen in an anaerobic chamber, creating A-dopamine that can be directly administered to the brain’s ventricular system.

Using MRI, robotic machinery, and trajectory calculations, neurosurgeons implant a precision dosing pump and catheter internally to enable direct delivery of dopamine to the brain. Patients are required to refill roughly once every one or two weeks, compared to Levodopa's three-times-a-day dosage. By increasing the levels of dopamine, PD symptoms can be alleviated, which helps reduce the severity of the patient's physical impairment.

Devos explains, “We are convinced that A-dopamine will be a groundbreaking therapeutic weapon administered on a long run to patients…. That said, we have to remain humble because we are not curing Parkinson’s disease." The next step will be to secure a marketing authorisation in Europe through the successful completion of Phase III clinical trials.

A better quality of life

David Devos and Caroline Moreau's highly regarded expertise in neurology led them to exploring therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases, identifying effective solutions to improve the quality of life for those affected. The co-founding of their company, InBrain Pharma, represents the next step in exploring brain infusion to ease PD symptoms.

In addition to being research and business partners, Devos and Moreau are married and have made it their life’s work to help patients. Moreau explains their motivation: “We have been working in the Parkinson’s disease field for longer than 20 years, and we really got to know patients and the disease because we live with them all day. I wanted to find something to increase the quality of life and the autonomy of the patient. That was my aim. And it still is.”

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