Parkinson's Disease Research Tools Consortium (PDRTC)

At a Glance
  • Status: Active Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2013
  • Initiating Organization: Michael J. Fox Foundation
  • Initiator Type: Nonprofit foundation
  • Disease focus:
    Parkinson's Disease
  • Location: North America


The Parkinson’s Disease Research Tools Consortium formalizes previously ad hoc input and feedback to the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) from tool developers and end users in pursuit of more robust tools for the Parkinson’s disease research community. The current landscape of laboratory tool development is project-driven, a costly and time-consuming practice where scientists create and validate tools for specific experiments. Problems with reproducibility arise from tests done with self-produced tools, as well. Complicated and lengthy material transfer agreements and intellectual property issues slow the sharing of established tools. Since 2010 the MJFF Tools Program has strived to liberate researchers from these stresses by creating validated, characterized research tools and distributing them to academic and industry researchers at little to no cost through an expedited process. MJFF currently offers 260 preclinical research tools to scientists and counts 8,500 tools distributed.


Researchers rely on critical tools, such as laboratory reagents and preclinical models, to understand the causes and mechanisms underlying disease and to develop effective treatments. When such tools are unavailable, investigators often must make their own, dedicating time and resources that would be better spent studying disease. Many existing tools lack sufficient quality control data, are difficult to obtain by the wider research community, or may come with restrictive license terms and fees that hinder drug-makers’ ability to use them. Promoting the generation and availability of critical research tools is a key way to accelerate therapeutic development for Parkinson’s disease patients.

To drive tool development toward the greatest needs of the field, MJFF is spearheading the Parkinson’s Disease Research Tools Consortium. Via this precompetitive consortium, MJFF and industry partners work to better understand existing tools and their use in laboratory experiments, as well as to develop new tools to address unmet challenges.

Sponsors & Partners


Amicus Therapeutics

ApoPharma Inc.



Bristol-Myers Squibb




Last Updated: 04/15/2016

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