Parkinson’s Disease drug Tavapadon significantly improved symptom control, Cerevel says


A late-stage trial of Cerevel Therapeutic’s Parkinson’s disease drug showed a significant reduction in the time patients suffer from symptoms, the company said Thursday, the latest study indicating possible treatment to help alleviate symptoms for the neurodegenerative disorder.
Parkinson's symptoms

Patients who used the drug experienced more time without experiencing involuntary and erratic movements.

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Key Takeaways
  • A trial involving 507 adults aged 40 to 80 with Parkinson’s experienced a “clinically meaningful and statistically significant” increase in time without symptoms when treated with tavapadon and levodopa, a common treatment for Parkinson’s, Cerevel said.
  • Patients who used tavapadon and levodopa experienced an increase of 1.1 hours in total “on” time—periods without involuntary and erratic movements—when compared to those treated with levodopa and a placebo, according to Cerevel.
  • Patients also experienced a statistically significant reduction in “off” time, or periods of sudden spikes in symptoms as movement becomes difficult.
Big Number

$14 billion. That’s how much is spent annually in the U.S. to treat Parkinson’s, though that amount is expected to rise rapidly as the U.S. population ages, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders And Stroke. The number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the U.S.—about 1 million people—is expected to double by 2040. The disease largely affects those over 50 years old.

Surprising Fact

Researchers are studying whether weight loss and diabetes drugs Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro—belonging to a family of drugs called GLP-1 agonists—could help alleviate symptoms for brain disorders like Parkinson’s. Last year, researchers announced a new test that can detect Parkinson’s—which scientists warn is often difficult to detect early on—without clinical assessments or patient reports.

Key Background

Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disorder that results in slow movement and body tremors, among other symptoms, is incurable, though possible treatments have been studied for years. Cerevel is developing tavapadon as a daily medicine to use alone or in combination with other Parkinson’s drugs to treat symptoms. The biotech firm said the drug could provide patients with “the right balance of motor control, safety and tolerability” while also potentially avoiding “troublesome” symptoms like erratic and involuntary movements.

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