Melbourne trial of new drug to treat Parkinson's dementia

A clinical trial evaluating experimental drug Anavex 2-73 as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease dementia is now for the first-time recruiting volunteers through HammondCare’s Clinical Trials Unit in Melbourne.

This is one of only two sites in Australia participating in the phase 2 study, with the other being KaRa MINDS in Sydney.

Principal investigator for the Melbourne trial is HammondCare’s A/Prof Stephen Macfarlane who is also involved in ongoing trials for the same drug as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which have shown promising results.

“Parkinson’s disease, already prevalent among older individuals, is poised to become a much greater public health challenge in coming decades and is commonly understood to also cause cognitive impairment, including dementia,” said A/Prof Macfarlane.

“We are pleased to be able to participate in this important research and to be recruiting Australians as part of it, given the potential for Anavex 2-73 to become a therapy for this unmet need."

Parkinson’s disease patients aged 50 years or older who have been diagnosed with dementia will be recruited for the trial which is also being conducted in other international sites and has received the support of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Trial participants will be randomly assigned to receive orally a medium or high dose of Anavex 2-73 or a placebo for 14 weeks.

Researchers will evaluate the impact of the treatment on cognition, as determined by the cognitive drug research computerised assessment system, as well as on patients’ motor function and sleep quality.

Preclinical studies with mouse models of Parkinson’s disease have shown that Anavex 2-73 was able to restore the function of damaged nerve cells and significantly improve motor function.

To express interest in participating in the clinical trial, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Parkinson’s

More than 100,000 Australians are estimated to be living with Parkinson’s disease with as many as 80 per cent eventually experiencing Parkinson’s disease dementia. On average, 37 new cases of Parkinson’s disease are diagnosed every day or about 13,500 per year.

As Parkinson’s prevalence increases threefold after the age of 65, the growth rate innumber of people living with Parkinson’s is expected to increase dramatically as the Australian population ages. It is estimated that the growth rate will average 4% over the next 20 years compared to a general population growth rate of just over 1%.

About HammondCare

HammondCare provides health, aged and dementia care expertise that empowers the people that we serve and is soon to open Victoria’s first, designed-for- purpose, cottage-style dementia care village in Caulfield. Regarded nationally and internationally as one of Australia’s most innovative health and aged care providers, HammondCare offers hospital care, residential care and community services. As an independent Christian charity, HammondCare champions life.

Media information

For information, interviews and cases studies for HammondCare’s Melbourne trial, please contact Peter Hallett on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0418 532 585.

For information, interviews and cases studies for the KaRa MINDS Sydney trial, please contact Agnes Wilson on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0466 692 098.