We are the drug discovery and development arm of Parkinson’s UK, the largest European charitable funder of Parkinson's research.

The Virtual Biotech launched in March 2017, and by the end of 2019 we had committed over £8million to create an exciting and diverse pipeline of projects at the drug discovery, preclinical and early clinical development stages. 

Driven by people with Parkinson’s, we’re working flexibly, creatively and collaboratively with co-investors, institutions and companies worldwide who share our vision to drive forward drug development and clinical trials. 

We’re aiming to invest at least a further £20million and deliver a life-changing new treatment to people with Parkinson’s by the end of 2024.

Our sole mission is delivering important new treatments for Parkinson’s. Any returns on investment we receive will be used to improve life for people with the condition.

You can view our portfolio tracker on the desktop site.

This live tracker visually represents the growth of the Virtual Biotech portfolio since it launched in 2017 based on the progress being made towards new and better treatments for Parkinson's. 


Active projects

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Novel mitochondrial rescue compounds - University of Sheffield

Programme to identify and refine compounds that rescue mitochondrial function with reduced off-target effects.

Novel Nrf2-KEAP1 inhibitors - Keapstone Therapeutics Limited

Developing novel inhibitors of the interaction between NFE2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and Kelch-like ECH associated protein 1 (KEAP1).

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Novel mPTP inhibitors - NRG Therapeutics

Developing novel mPTP inhibitors to safeguard the dopaminergic cells and slow progression of Parkinson's.

Novel gene transcription modulators - Eurofins Selcia Drug Discovery

Developing molecules that increase the activity of genes to increase dopamine synthesis and boost the production of neuroprotective proteins.

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Cannabidiol for Parkinson's psychosis - King's College London

A 6-week pilot and 12-week randomised controlled trial to provide preliminary evidence for the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) for the treatment of Parkinson's-related psychosis.

Ondansetron for Parkinson's hallucinations - University College London

A phase 2 randomised controlled trial to investigate whether ondansetron is safe and effective for treating Parkinson's hallucinations.

NLX-112 for Parkinson's dyskinesia - Neurolixis

A phase 2 randomised controlled trial to investigate a novel serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist for the treatment of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.

Glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) for Parkinson's - Vivifi Biotech

A programme to create and prepare a new phase 2 randomised controlled trial to investigate the potential of device-delivered GDNF as a disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson's.


Our people

Arthur Roach

Arthur Roach Ph.D

Director of Research, Parkinson’s UK 


Before joining Parkinson's UK Arthur held several academic and industrial positions, most recently as Senior Director, Neurodegenerative Diseases Research at Serono (now Merck). He is also a founder and Head of the SAB of the Swiss-based biotech Chord Therapeutics.

Professor Manfred Auer

Professor Manfred Auer

Drug Discovery Advisory Panel member

Manfred is currently the SULSA (Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance) Professor of Chemical & Translational Biology at the University of Edinburgh. He is one of the most experienced scientists in the field of a assay and screening methodologies and was previously Executive Director of Innovative Screening Technologies at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research.

Professor Paul Whiting

Professor Paul Whiting

Drug Discovery Advisory Panel member


Prior to taking on his current role as the CSO for the Alzheimer’s Research UK UCL Drug Discovery Institute, Paul was Head of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at MSD and then Head of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Pfizer Neusentis.



Do you have an idea or a discovery with potential to lead to a new treatment for Parkinson’s? Are you interested in bringing this to the clinic? We can partner with you to develop the most promising projects.


Get in touch at virtualbiotech@parkinsons.org.uk

We aim to respond to enquiries, using the details you provide, within 5 working days.


Our partners

The University of Sheffield
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