May 1, 2018
Interviewed by: Privcap
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Advancing Research into Parkinson’s Disease

The head of Argand Partners, a private equity firm, discusses his transformative role at the Parkinson’s Foundation.

The head of Argand Partners, a private equity firm, discusses his transformative role at the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Advancing Research into Parkinson’s Disease

Don Lipari, RSM: Hello, this Don Lipari, national head of private equity with RSM, with another segment of Powerhouses in Private Equity. Today we’re with Howard Morgan, senior managing director and co-founder of the Argand Partners fund. Welcome Howard.

Howard Morgan, Argand Partners:
Thank you very much.

Lipari: You’re passionate about your business. You’re passionate about your family. You’re also very passionate about giving back to the community. Talk a little bit about that. In particular, talk about the time you spend with the Parkinson’s disease foundation. I know your father was afflicted by that disease. My mother also had Parkinson’s. Talk a little bit about your community activism and your passion in that regard.

Morgan:
Yeah, thank you and I think the roots of that frankly do stem to my father who was trained as a journalist but spent the bulk of his career in the not-for-profit arena. I’m very passionate that everyone should give back to the community in ways that they’re best suited to do that because my father had Parkinson’s and there was a connection, I got to know one of the two oldest Parkinson’s groups in the United States headquartered here in New York.

It was an exciting opportunity to support an older institution as it evolved. Just in the last year, I was able to, I think, very effectively apply my private equity skills by merging that prior organization with the next oldest group, two 60 year old organizations to form now what is solidly the next to Michael J. Fox, the largest but absolutely the oldest Parkinson’s dedicated group simply called now the Parkinson’s Foundation.

There are at least a million patients in the US. I guess the good news is that in the 1960s a drug called Dopamine was identified to deal with the symptoms, the sad news is that there really have been no major breakthroughs to stop Parkinson’s, which I think emphasizes the need for basic science research which is one of the core tenants of the Parkinson’s foundation. I think I’m excited with a number of initiatives in accelerated medical testing of some new scientific theories that could start to deliver some solutions at a pace that is very quick for the medical sphere. We’re also looking more closely at customized medicine with genetics, the ability to match treatments with the specific genetics of patients. We want to make sure that the Parkinson’s community is ready for that technology so that it can be applied to the Parkinson’s community as soon as possible.

Lipari: Hopefully, we’re getting closer to dealing not only with the symptoms of Parkinson’s but hopefully a cure.

 

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