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Teva Drug Cuts Disability in Parkinson’s – Study

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd’s drug Azilect reduces disability in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, according to new research published on Friday.

Professor Olivier Rascol of University Hospital in Toulouse, France, said a clinical study involving 687 patients showed that adding the once-daily medicine, also known as rasagiline, to therapy with the drug levodopa improved patients’ motor function.”Rasagiline achieved the two main goals of treatment after levodopa — reduced disability and decreased motor fluctuations. These properties position the drug as a favorable candidate to add to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease,” Rascol said.His research, published in the Lancet medical journal, found that Azilect reduced so-called “off” periods — when levodopa medication stops working — by an average of 1.2 hours per day.Azilect is one of several add-on therapies developed to enhance the effects of levodopa in patients with the degenerative brain disorder who have been on the treatment for several years and find its effect wearing off.Dr Carl Clarke of City Hospital and Birmingham University, England, said the fact Azilect was a single once-daily pill and doctors did not have to alter dosing for each patient made it more convenient than most other additional therapies.Azilect, which was approved in Europe last month, works by blocking the breakdown of dopamine, a substance in the brain needed to facilitate movement.Israel’s Teva and Danish drugmaker H. Lundbeck A/S will co-promote the product in Europe.In the United States, where an application is still pending with the Food and Drug Administration, the drug will be sold by Teva and Eisai Co Ltd.Worldwide sales for Parkinson’s drugs reached $2.2 billion in 2003.(Source: Lancet: Reuters Health: March 2005.)

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Posted On: 15 March, 2005
Modified On: 16 January, 2014

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