Industry group PhRMA is boasting a packed pipeline of Parkinson’s disease treatments, with 23 drug candidates and three diagnostics in clinical trials or awaiting FDA review. There are also 11 treatments in development for conditions related to Parkinson’s, a new report by PhRMA says.
Among the new treatments in pharma pipelines are a gene therapy targeting the movement centers of the brain, a medicine that targets a receptor found in the part of the brain where Parkinson’s-related abnormalities often are seen, and new intranasal and intestinal gel delivery systems for already approved treatments.
Parkinson’s is linked to the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells, causing a range of symptoms from tremors and muscle stiffness to cognitive changes and difficulty swallowing. Research into the disease is difficult because the biological processes behind the disease are not well understood. All of new treatments highlighted in the report are aimed at alleviating symptoms, rather than treating the underlying cause of Parkinson’s, according to PhRMA.
Nonetheless, these “offer hope of reducing the human and economic costs of Parkinson’s disease,” the trade group says. It estimates that the disease costs the U.S. $14.4 billion a year — $8.1 billion in medical expenses and $6.3 million in indirect costs. Medication can run up to $2,500 per patient yearly, and surgeries typically cost about $100,000.
Read the report at www.fdanews.com/ext/resources/files/03/03-31-14-PhRMAReport.pdf. — Lena Freund
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