Israeli Parkinson's Drug Effective

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CBNNews.com - TEL AVIV, Israel - Results of an 18-month study show that an Israeli-developed drug slows the progression of Parkinson's Disease.

The study of Azilect (rasagiline), developed by Professors Moussa Youdim and John Finberg of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, found the drug safe and effective in slowing the progression of Parkinson's Disease, a degenerative neurological disorder generally affecting the elderly.

In the study, 1,176 patients, treated at 129 medical centers in 14 countries, were compared with a control group.

The results of the study may qualify Azilect, produced and distributed by Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., to be the first drug to receive a "disease modification" label for Parkinson's.

Teva also has the rights to Copaxone, developed by Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of Azilect in the spring of 2006.

"As Israelis, we are proud that the hope for all the world's Parkinson patients emanates from Israel, as Azilect is a blue and white, Israeli-developed drug," said Daniel Neuman, chairman of Israel's Parkinson Association.

"Last year, we tried, but failed, to persuade the Health Ministry's public committee, which recommends new drugs for inclusion in the basket of health services, to put Azilect on the list, arguing that it was a vital drug," Neuman said.

"Now we believe that the results of the ADAGIO study will pave the way for inclusion," he said.

Inclusion will allow Israelis suffering from Parkinson's to receive Azilect at a state-subsidized price.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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