Japan-based Eisai has reported that its UK subsidiary Eisai Ltd. has filed an application for the Alzheimer's treatment Aricpet (donepezil HC1 tablet) with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency of the UK. The company intends to seek approval for the drug in 12 European countries.
Aricpet inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme responsible for the destruction of one of the brain's key neurotransmitters, acetylcholine. This leads to increased concentrations of acetylcholine in the brain, and the increased concentrations are believed to be responsible for the improvement seen during treatment with Aricpet. The medication has been shown to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, but does not slow down its progression. Aricept was approved by the U.S. FDA in 1996.