Technion-Developed Drug Could Become First to Treat Parkinson's

A study by Teva Pharmaceutical demonstrates that AZILECT(r) (Rasagiline) - a drug developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - can slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Youdim Mug
Mousa Youdim was a lead Azilect developer.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced yesterday the completion of a phase III study demonstrating that 1 mg tablets of AZILECT(r) (Rasagiline) - a drug developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - can slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease.

The brainchild of Technion Professors Moussa Youdim and John Finberg, Azilect is the first FDA-approved, once-daily product for the treatment of Parkinson's, a chronic, degenerative disease affecting a million people in the United States and 4 million around the world.

In the trial, Azilect 1 mg tablets met all three primary end points, as well as the secondary and additional end points, all with statistical significance. The study also confirmed the drug's safety and tolerability.

Teva intends to submit the results to the regulatory authorities in the U.S. and Europe. Based on the results, says the company, Azilect could become the first Parkinson's disease treatment to receive a label for disease modification.

The study protocol was based on the recommendations and guidance of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The 18-month study, the first of its kind, is one of the largest conducted in Parkinson's disease, involving 1,176 patients with early Parkinson's disease in 14 countries and 129 medical centers.

Azilect 1 mg tablets are indicated for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease both as initial therapy alone and to be added to levodopa later in the disease. The drug is currently available in 30 countries, including the US, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and most of the EU countries.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and is the world's leading generic pharmaceutical company. The Company develops, manufactures and markets generic and innovative human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as animal health pharmaceutical products. Over 80 percent of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university. Home to the country's winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 22 offices around the country.

For more information, contact Kevin Hattori via email or call 212-407-6319.


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