Lundbeck drug shows effect in Parkinson’s patients

A drug from the Danish pharmaceutical group Lundbeck has shown an effect in some patients with Parkinson’s disease in combination with dopamine-regulating substances.

Foto: PR lundbeck

A new combination study has shown that some Parkinson’s patients can be helped by Lundbeck’s Azilect – a drug that is currently marketed in more than 40 countries.

“We are pleased with the results of the study as they reinforce the efficacy and tolerability profile we’ve seen in the clinical development programme for Azilect,” says Anders Gersel Pedersen, Executive Vice President, Research and Development, at Lundbeck.

The study assessed the efficacy and tolerability of Azilect compared to placebo as add-on therapy to stable dose of dopamine agonists in the treatment of early Parkinson’s disease. While the efficacy of Azilect as adjunct to levodopa has been established in previous studies (leading to its indication as adjunct therapy to levodopa) its efficacy in combination with dopamine agonist monotherapy has not previously been studied, the company informs.

Results from the study demonstrated that the addition of Azilect 1mg/day provided a statistically significant improvement in total Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score from baseline to week 18 in patients sub-optimally controlled with dopamine agonist monotherapy compared to placebo. The study involved 328 test individuals.

Plans for Azilect

The Danish company plans to commercialize the drug on several additional markets. In 2012 Lundbeck launched Azilect in Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand and two additional launches are on the cards.

“In 2014 and 2015 we will be launching Azilect in China and Korea. Of course, it will be very interesting to follow these launches,” CSO Anders Götzsche told Medwatch in February.

The generics giant Teva has a long-term agreement for the joint development and marketing of Azilect in Europe and some additional markets with Lundbeck. In North America, Azilect is marketed by Teva's wholly-owned subsidiary, Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

- translated by Martin Havtorn Petersen

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