Italian pharmaceutical and fine-chemical multinational company Zambon, in partnership with Newron Pharmaceuticals, has launched Xadago (safinamide) in the UK to treat patients affected with mid to late-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Safinamide is a new chemical entity serving as a mode of action that includes selective and reversible MAO-B-inhibition and blocking of voltage-dependent sodium channels, which leads to modulation of abnormal glutamate release.

Clinical trials have revealed that Safinamide is capable of controlling motor symptoms and motor complications in the short-term.

Safinamide demonstrates statistically significant effects on motor fluctuations (On / Off time) without enhancing the risk of developing troublesome dyskinesia.

Neurology professor Andrew Lees said: "After ten years with no new drugs for Parkinson’s disease I welcome the addition of another effective treatment option for patients."

The UK is the latest country to launch Xadago as a treatment for Parkinson’s, while the drug is already available in seven other countries that include Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden.

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Zambon CEO Maurizio Castorina said: "We are committed to developing innovative therapies for patients suffering from PD and other central nervous system diseases.

"We are committed to developing innovative therapies for patients suffering from PD and other central nervous system diseases."

"Xadago offers PD patients a novel therapeutic option in the treatment of this progressive disease."

Zambon owns the rights to develop, as well as commercialise Xadago worldwide, except in Japan and other key territories, where Japanese pharmaceutical company Meiji Seika has the rights to develop and commercialise the compound.

In the US, Zambon has granted the rights to develop and commercialise Xadago to the US pharmaceutical company WorldMeds.

Parkinson’s disease is a common chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder found in elderly people.

Image: Immunohistochemistry for alpha-synuclein showing positive staining (brown) of an intraneural Lewy-body in the Substantia nigra in Parkinson’s disease. Photo: courtesy of Marvin 101.