August 29, 2008

Azilect Slows Parkinson’s Progression: Research

Azilect slows Parkinson's progression: research

JERUSALEM, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- An Israel-developed drug has been proved to be able to slow the progression of the Parkinson's disease, local daily Ha'aretz reported Wednesday.

A Phase III trial showed that patients treated with Azilect, a medicine developed by Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., showed improvements compared to those who started taking the drug later, said the report.

During the study involving 1,176 patients in the very early stage of the disease, the participants who were given an Azilect tablet once per day for 72 weeks experienced a slower decline in disease progression in the early part of the trial and a steadying of symptoms in the last part, as compared to those who received a placebo for the first 36 weeks before being treated with Azilect, according to the report.

The drug has already been approved to treat symptoms of the incurable neurodegenerative condition, but the drugmaker now wants regulators to expand the official labeling of its approved uses to include disease modification, added the report.

"Delaying disease progression is the most important unmet need in the management of Parkinson's disease," Professor C. Warren Olanow with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, a leading scientist in the study, was quoted as saying.

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