NeuroDerm Ltd has stated that data from a mid-stage study of its new Parkinson's drug suggests that using a higher dosage of the drug could provide an alternative to treatments that require surgery.

The Israel-based company said the trial evaluated two liquid formulations of the drug, levodopa/carbidopa (LD/CD), in sixteen patients with an advanced form of Parkinson's disease.  The goal was to assess its capacity to reduce motor complications as a result of the disease. Two versions of the drug, ND0612H and ND0612L, were delivered through a belt-worn pump and then compared with the oral forms LD/CD, the standard treatment for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease.

The data reveals that ND0612H achieved levodopa plasma levels that once could only be maintained with surgical intervention, and fluctuations of the levodopa plasma levels were reduced markedly by both versions of the drug.

Almost all patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, which is characterized by lower dopamine levels in the brain, are treated with levodopa.  The effectiveness of oral levodopa is limited by its short half-life.  None of the drug remains in the plasma after only three or four hours from a single dose.  This requires patients to take multiple doses each day to effectively combat decline in more and non-motor functions.

If patients take too much levodopa or take it only intermittently, they can suffer from involuntary movements known as dyskinesia.  Steady levodopa administration is currently the only solution.  This can only be achieved surgically through the permanent implantation of a tube in the small intestine.

NeuroDerm is confident in the new data and says that it will now continue further development of ND0612H and ND0612L, in both the United States and the European Union next year.

Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that is chronic and progressive with its symptoms worsening over time.  As many as one million individuals live with the disease every day.  Approximately four percent of cases occur in people under the age of 50 with the risk increasing with age. Each person experiences the symptoms of the disease differently though most experience tremors as their primary symptom.  Some patients do not suffer tremors, however, instead suffer from balance issues.  In most cases, patients endure symptoms on only one side of the body for years before the disease progresses, leading to symptoms on the other side as well. 

This new drug hopes to provide a non-surgical alternative to patients as they fight the disease, with the hope of reducing the symptoms of the disease for an improved quality of life.