Parkinson’s drug opicapone launches in the UK and Germany

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Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 21 October 2016

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Parkinson’s drug opicapone is now available in the UK and Germany as a once-daily dose, following authorisation by the European Commission (EC).

Produced by BIAL under the brand name ‘Ongentys’, opicapone is in a class of drugs known as ‘COMT inhibitors’, which can extend the therapeutic effects of levodopa.

It is intended for use by Parkinson’s patients who experience end-of-dose motor complications such as “wearing-off” from long-term levodopa use.

Professor Andrew Lees, Professor of Neurology, University College London, said: “There is still an unmet medical need for effective new therapeutic options for Parkinson’s disease. Opicapone will provide clinicians in UK with a COMT inhibitor, with the convenience of once-daily dosing.”

The results of a phase III clinical trial involving 600 patients across in Europe was published in the ‘The Lancet Neurology in December 2015’, and the drug was approved for use by the EC in July 2016.

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