Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trial Results to Be Presented at AAN Annual Meeting

This week, more than 12,000 are expected to attend the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, the largest international meeting of neuroscientists and neuroscience professionals worldwide. Our own Maurizio Facheris, MD, MSc, is among the attendees.

According to an AAN press release, three clinical studies will be presented this week that provide “possible positive news for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).”

We’ve previously covered the drugs being tested on our blog. We encourage you to read more about all three.

  • One study surrounded Chelsea Therapeutics’ drug Northera, to treat orthostatic hypotension in PD and other diseases, returned “mixed” clinical results. The study found that those patients taking Northera experienced clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvements in standing blood pressure, as well as in dizziness and lightheadedness, when compared to placebo after one week of treatment. However, when tested over a period of more than a week, the data into Northera’s ability to treat standing blood pressure, dizziness and lightheadedness was not statistically significant when compared to placebo. More studies are likely needed.
  • In December, Biotie Therapies announced positive clinical study results into a novel approach to treat the symptoms of PD: In a phase 2b trial, Biotie’s drug tozadenant was found to significantly limit the “off periods” that many with Parkinson’s experience when taking levodopa, the gold standard therapy for the disease. Biotie says that the next step for their drug is to enter into a larger scale phase 3 trial, to learn more about the efficacy of the drug.
  • The third study surrounds the drug rasagiline (brand name Azilect) from Teva Pharmaceuticals. You may remember that back in 2011, Teva sought a label change for their drug, to “slow the clinical progression of Parkinson’s disease,” which was denied by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug continues to have benefit as a symptomatic therapy. The new clinical trial from Teva looked at 321 people with early PD, whose symptoms were not well-controlled by a dopamine agonist, says the AAN. According to the findings, during an 18-week study, participants took either rasagiline or a placebo in addition to their dopamine agonist. At the end of the study, those taking rasagiline had improved by 2.4 points on a PD rating scale.