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gene therapy from Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR) delivered surgically into the brains of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease reduced their need for standard Parkinson’s medications and improved motor function, according to results from a small, early-stage clinical trial reported Wednesday.

Unlike most gene therapies for inherited disease in clinical development, the Voyager treatment does not aim to cure Parkinson’s — because nothing yet invented can fully prevent the loss of neurons in the brain. Instead, Voyager’s gene therapy acts like a biological detour around dead neurons, so Parkinson’s patients respond better and longer to levodopa, the standard drug used to keep motor function under control.

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