(Corrects paragraph 1 to remove “three months ahead of the scheduled review date”)
Jan 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AbbVie Inc’s treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The treatment, Duopa - a combination of carbidopa and levodopa - is the first to be effective for 16 hours, compared with existing oral formulations that last for up to four hours following a single dose.
Duopa, already available in Canada, is administered using a small portable infusion pump that delivers the drug directly to the small intestine.
AbbVie shares were up 1 percent in premarket trading.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by reduced levels of the hormone dopamine in the brain, which leads to poor mobility, slowness and stiffness.
Nearly all patients diagnosed with the disease are treated with levodopa. The effectiveness of oral levodopa, however, is limited by its short half-life. Excessive oral doses often lead to involuntary movements, or dyskinesia.
Last week, the FDA approved Impax Laboratories Inc’s Parkinson’s drug, Rytary, after rejecting it twice.
Other companies developing drugs for the disease include NeuroDerm Ltd, Acorda Therapeutics Inc and Cynapsus Therapeutics.
About 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease - more than the number of people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. (Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Joyjeet Das)