Italian pharmaceutical company Zambon has launched Xadago (safinamide) in Belgium for the treatment of mid to late-stage Parkinson’s disease (PD).

PD is the second most common chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder in the elderly after Alzheimer’s disease, affecting nearly 2% of individuals over the age of 65 worldwide.

Patients with early stage PD are more easily managed on levodopa (L-dopa). As the disease progresses, more drugs are used as an add-on to what the patient already takes, the company said.

Zambon’s Xadago is available as an add-on therapy to a stable dose of L-dopa alone or in combination with other PD therapies for mid to late-stage fluctuating patients.

"The dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic action of Safinamide provides a balanced control of motor symptoms and complications."

Zambon CEO Maurizio Castorina said: "Patients in Belgium will now have access to an innovative add-on treatment option that has shown meaningful and long lasting improvements on motor symptoms and good ON Time without troublesome dyskinesia, in addition to a well-tolerated profile."

Safinamide is a new chemical entity that allows selective and reversible MAO-B-inhibition and blocking of voltage dependent sodium channels when administered once every day. This leads to modulation of abnormal glutamate release.

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The dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic action of Safinamide provides a balanced control of motor symptoms and complications.

University Hospital Ghent professor Patrick Santens said: "Thanks to its unique dual dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic mode of action, including the modulation of altered glutamatergic neurotransmission, Xadago (safinamide) has the potential to become a long awaited treatment alternative for our patients suffering from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease with motor fluctuations."

Zambon has the rights to develop and commercialise Xadago globally, excluding Japan and other key territories where Meiji Seika has the rights to develop and commercialise the compound.

The rights to develop and commercialise Xadago in the US have been granted to US WorldMeds by Zambon.