Improving Care & Driving Research

Nov 30 - Dec 3, 2023 - Austin, TX

PSG Industry Forum

Application Deadline: October 27, 2023

The PSG Industry Forum will provide a platform for industry representatives to share updates on their research pipeline and discuss opportunities for potential collaboration. This year’s forum will be moderated by former PSG Executive Committee Chair and Founder, Ira Shoulson, as well as current PSG Mentoring Committee Chair and Executive Committee Member, Joohi Jimenez-Shahed.

Benefits of participating in the forum are as follows:

  • Engaging in meaningful dialogue that aligns with your interests and values in the common quest for advancing research into cures and care for patients with PD
  • Exploring shared opportunities with the North America’s largest not-for-profit scientific network of Parkinson’s centers
  • Networking with some of the foremost key opinion leaders in Parkinson’s research in the field
  • Sharing ideas for positively impacting the future of PD research and patient care

The format for this year’s forum will be the following:

  • Each company will be given a 10 minute time slot, which will be broken up into 5 minutes of presentation and 5 minutes of Q&A.
  • Industry representatives must hold a position within their company’s research and development division (sales or marketing representatives will not be permitted to present).
  • Each presenter will be allowed a maximum of 3 slides that may include company information, product/data updates, and discussion of their pipeline with details on target population and phase of development.

Ready to Apply? Please submit the following application form.

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Industry Forum Speaker Information

Speaker: Lydia Wood, PhD

Care Area Lead/Medical Director Neurology Medical Affairs

Dr. Lydia Wood is a pharmaceutical industry Medical Affairs professional, with expertise in neuroscience and neurology. She received her PhD in neuroscience from Northwestern University, where she studied mechanisms of cortical motor synaptic pathway dysfunction in a model of Rett syndrome. Her postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley investigated neuro-glial interactions mediating hyperexcitability, seizures and epileptogenesis in a model of TBI. Subsequent to her academic career, she has worked in pharmaceutical Medical Affairs for over 10 years, supporting innovation in therapeutics and diagnostics in neurology, with primary focus in movement and neurodegenerative disorders.

GE HealthCare is a pharmaceutical and medical device company dedicated to the human side of healthcare. The Pharmaceutical Diagnostics division provides contrast media and molecular imaging agents used during medical imaging exams to enable better visualization and diagnosis. In addition to our current portfolio, we have a pipeline of diagnostic pharmaceuticals in development with a number of ongoing pre-clinical and clinical programs. At GE HealthCare, we see possibilities through innovation. We’re partnering with our customers to fulfill healthcare’s greatest potential through groundbreaking medical technology, intelligent devices, and care solutions. Better tools enabling better patient care. Together, we are not only building a healthier future but living our purpose to create a world where healthcare has no limits.

Speaker: Chase Babcock

Head of Operations

As Head of Operations for Rune Labs, Chase Babcock oversees the rollout and implementation of StrivePD to movement disorder clinicians and people with Parkinson’s across North America. Prior to joining Rune Labs, Chase served in senior leadership roles over clinical operations within large health systems, most recently leading Neuroscience & Neurosurgery for Kaiser Permanente Northern California. In addition to his professional work in U.S. based hospitals, Chase also spearheads several global health equity initiative efforts in Haiti. He holds a B.A. in Economics and a Master of Health Administration from The University of South Carolina.

Rune Labs is a software and data analytics company for precision neurology, supporting care delivery and therapy development. StrivePD is the company’s care delivery ecosystem for Parkinson’s disease, enabling patients and clinicians to better manage Parkinson’s by providing access to curated dashboards summarizing a range of patient data sources, and by connecting patients to clinical trials. For therapeutics development, biopharma and medical device companies leverage Rune’s StriveStudy technology, network of engaged clinicians and patients, and large longitudinal real-world datasets to expedite development programs.

Speaker: Nikkilina Crouse, PhD

Director of Field Medical Affairs

Prior to joining industry, Nikkilina Crouse received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri St. Louis where her research focused on the role of microglia in Alzheimer’s Disease. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as part of the Center for Neurofibromatosis.

Nikkilina has been in the Movement Disorders space within the pharmaceutical industry for over a decade, beginning her career as an MSL with Teva Neuroscience supporting Azilect. She later launched Austedo for both Huntington’s Disease and Tardive Dyskinesia. In 2018 she joined Adamas to support the launch of Gocovri for the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and began leading the MSL team. Nikkilina joined Supernus in 2021 through the acquisition of Adamas, and now serves as the Director of the Movement Disorders MSL team which supports Gocovri, Apokyn, Myobloc, Xadago, Osmolex and preparations for the launch of SPN-830 (apomorphine infusion).

Supernus Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company with more than 30 years of experience developing and commercializing products to treat central nervous system diseases. Current therapies include medications to treat epilepsy, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Our current pipeline includes SPN 830 for the treatment of hypomobility in Parkinson’s disease, SPN 820/821 for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression, and SPN 817 for the treatment of severe epilepsy.

Speaker: Andres Bratt-Leal, PhD

Co-founder & Senior Vice President, Research & Development

Andrés Bratt-Leal, PhD, is the Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Aspen Neuroscience, Inc., a clinical development-stage, private company focused on autologous regenerative medicine. The company is developing patient-derived iPSCs to create personalized cell therapies that address diseases with high unmet medical needs, beginning with autologous neuron replacement for Parkinson’s disease.  

A leading iPSC platform company, Aspen combines stem cell biology with the latest artificial intelligence and genomic approaches to investigate patient-specific, restorative treatments. The company has developed a best-in-class platform to create and optimize pluripotent-derived cell therapies, which includes in-house bioinformatics, manufacturing and QC.

Aspen’s personalized 3-step manufacturing approach starts from a small sample of the patient’s own skin cells, followed by reprogramming to iPSCs and then differentiation into DANPCs. The DANPCs are then provided to the patient via surgery to replace their cells that were lost or damaged due to disease. The quality of each person’s cells is assessed at every manufacturing stage using Aspen’s proprietary artificial intelligence-based genomics tests. 

After earning his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his BS in Bioengineering from the University of Washington, Andrés served as a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Jeanne Loring’s lab at Scripps Research, where he helped develop the core technology producing dopaminergic neurons from iPSCs that formed the basis for the creation of Aspen.

In August 2023, Aspen announced FDA clearance for its Investigational New Drug (IND) application, enabling the company to proceed with a clinical trial for its lead product, ANPD001, for Parkinson’s Disease. In October 2023, Aspen was granted fast track designation by the FDA for ANPD001. The organization is planning to launch its first-in-patient clinical trial in the first half of 2024.

Speaker: Nadir Haider, PhD Biostatistician

Dr. Haider is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics with the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. He received his medical training at Dow Medical College and has a Ph. D. in Neuroscience and Advanced Certificate in Applied Statistical Analysis from the University at Buffalo. His primary interests are related to implementing high-quality research and data analytical techniques to improve the diagnosis and management of traumatic injuries, and most of his work has been in athletes with sport-related concussions (SRC). He joined blinkcns as a scientific advisor and statistician in 2020.

Blinkcns (formerly blinktbi) is a Charleston, SC based biotech company dedicated to improving the detection and management of neurological disease through rapid, non-invasive collection of objective data from the eyes. The company holds the world-wide rights to stimulating and analyzing the blink reflex by the means of air, sound or light. Their FDA-cleared technology, called EyeStat, measures the blink with gentle air puffs to provide objective data about the brain. With foundational research in traumatic brain injury (TBI), the company is exploring clinical utilization in other neurological disease states and conditions such as Parkinson’s, ADHD, Dry Eye, and more.

Speaker: Antoine Lampron, PhD

Principal Clinical Development Scientist

Antoine Lampron has completed his PhD in Biomedical Science at Universite de Montreal in Canada. At Universite Laval, he studied the importance of bone-marrow derived cells in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and ALS. He later joined the pharmaceutical industry, supporting the development and the launch of novel medications for schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorders, myasthenia gravis, ALS, and others. He has joined Bluerock Therapeutics in 2021 where he now leads the clinical development strategy for the Parkinson’s Disease program.

Speaker: Gennaro Pagano, MD, MSc, PhD

Group Leader & Expert Medical Director, Early Clinical Development

Gennaro is a physician-neuroscientist and pharma medical director with 15+ years of translational research in academia and early clinical development. He is Group Leader & Expert Medical Director in Early Clinical Development, leading the early clinical development of Prasinezumab for Parkinson’s disease at Roche Pharma Research & Early Development (pRED). He served as  PSAB Chair of the PPMI (2020-2021) and is currently serving as the Industry co-director of Critical Path for Parkinson’s disease. He is also an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at University of Exeter Medical School, London.

He obtained a Doctor of Medicine (MD) at University of Naples Federico II, Master in Epidemiology (MSc) at University of Milan, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Neuroscience at King’s College London, and postdoctoral training in PET imaging with focus on genetics, preclinical and prodromal Parkinson’s disease at Imperial College London. He also completed fellowships in movement disorders/neuroimaging at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Roche in Parkinson’s disease

Neuroscience is a major focus of research and development at Roche. Our goal is to pioneer the translation of scientific advances into life-changing therapies for and with people with devastating brain diseases.

In Parkinson’s disease, we aim to create a future where people living with movement disorders are in control of their lives. Our goal is to halt the clinical progression to disability in people with Parkinson’s disease by targeting causal biology and drivers of neurodegeneration.

Role of alpha-synuclein in PD:

  • Alpha-synuclein (α-Syn) is a presynaptic neuronal protein. It is present in Lewy bodies which are considered the neuropathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathology. Abnormal intraneuronal enrichment of various forms of α-Syn and α-Syn aggregation, known as Lewy pathology, has been associated with PD pathogenesis.
  • We are confident in the role of α-Syn in the underlying pathophysiology of PD and are continuing to develop prasinezumab in early-stage PD.
    • Prasinezumab is a humanized IgG1 mAb designed to selectively bind aggregated pathogenic forms of α-Syn, thereby potentially slowing the progression of PD.
    • Part 1 of the Phase II PASADENA study showed a favourable safety profile and reduced clinical decline of motor signs (change from baseline at Week 52 in MDS-UPDRS Part III score, and digital motor assessments).
    • Based on the secondary and exploratory outcomes in PASADENA Parts 1 and 2, PADOVA was initiated. It is a Phase IIb trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of intravenous prasinezumab versus placebo, in participants with early-stage PD who are on stable symptomatic PD medication.
    • The PASADENA Open Label Extension (Part 3) is ongoing to understand the long-term safety and efficacy of prasinezumab.
  • Roche will continue to report emerging data from the prasinezumab programme at upcoming medical conferences.


Role of NLRP3 inflammasomes in PD:

  • Chronic inflammation in PD may contribute to the formation of toxic aggregated α-Syn, which is a key driver of neuronal and synaptic loss, causing the progressive nature of PD.
  • NLRP3 is an inflammasome involved in neuronal pyroptosis, a pathway of programmed cell death. CSF levels of NLRP3-related biomarkers are increased in individuals with PD.
    • Selnoflast, is a selective brain-penetrant NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor intended for treatment of inflammatory brain diseases.
  • In a Phase I trial, selnoflast showed a favourable safety and tolerability profile. It also showed a strong pharmacokinetic profile in healthy subjects, and dose-dependent target modulation.

A Phase 1b trial (NCT05924243) is on-going to  evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamics of selnoflast in participants with early-stage PD.

Speaker: Rutger Zitsma, CEO

Rutger is founding CEO of Manus Neurodynamica Ltd – the company that created the NeuroMotor PenTM (NMP). While working with a small consulting firm, Rutger developed ideas to utilise neuroscience from his earlier PhD research to create novel, easily implementable clinical tools. Manus was founded as a channel to realise those ideas. At the inception, Rutger developed the bid for the EU FP7 project DiPAR (Diagnosing Parkinson’s through neuromuscular function evaluation) and laid out the scientific content and work plan and formed a consortium with 7 academic and clinical institutions. Rutger coordinated DiPAR over a 4-year period, which facilitated initial product development and clinical validation, followed by productization with further clinical validation and obtaining EU regulatory approvals. Prior to his PhD, Rutger gained experience in biomedical engineering (J&J Cordis Europe, Philips DAP and Medical systems) and project management for the Dutch healthcare sector (Cap Gemini). He also has post-graduate degrees in Bioengineering and Business administration.

The NMP is a medical device, which objectively and accurately assesses fine motor function in neuromotor impairments. The interface enables users to record movements non-invasively and analyse more than 50 parameters of minute limb and hand motion. These quantified parameters are used as ‘surrogate biomarkers’ to provide objective information about movement symptoms and abnormalities, including tremor, bradykinesia, micrographia and spatial accuracy in Parkinson’s. Benefits of NMP are increased objectivity, high sensitivity and ability to measure subtle symptoms that are not easy to observe and/or interpret with the naked eye. 

An AI algorithmic overlay enables the accurate differentiation between PD, and other tremor disorders in settings, where this is desirable, for example in primary care and general neurology settings. FDA awarded ‘Breakthrough Device Designation’ for the proposed indication of aiding HCPs in differentiating Parkinsonian and non-Parkinsonian tremors in adult patients, who are suspected of having PD, but have not been diagnosed by other means.