Lundbeck and Teva have launched Azilect (rasagiline) to treat Alzheimer’s disease in France following the recently granted pricing and reimbursement of the product by the French health authorities.

The launch marks the entry of once-daily Azilect into France, the fifth-largest market for Alzheimer’s drugs in Europe with estimated annual sales value of more than €100m.

Recent data from the ADAGIO study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in September 2009, provided evidence that early treatment with Azilect slows clinical progression of the disease.

Lundbeck executive vice-president, commercial operations Stig Løkke Pedersen said that Azilect is the first and only product that has demonstrated an effect on slowing the clinical progression of Parkinson’s disease and the company is looking forward to providing it to the French market.

“The reimbursement of Azilect is of great importance to the many patients in France suffering from Parkinson’s disease, looking for treatment options beyond symptomatic benefits,” Pedersen said.

Azilect tablets are now available in 38 countries, including the US, Canada, Israel, Mexico and all of the EU countries.