New drug for HD approved in USA

Exciting news for the Huntington’s disease (HD) community! The USA drug regulator, the FDA, has approved a new drug in the treatment of HD. Its commercial name is Austedo, but the drug was previously known as Deutetrabenazine. It originates from Tetrabenazine which is used to treat chorea – the jerky movements – often found in HD patients. 

This is the the first new advance in HD treatment for nearly a decade.

TEVA`s senior director Ruth Wilson, director of the drug company that applied for using Austedo in treatment of HD symptoms, states that: “This is the the first new advance in HD treatment for nearly a decade”. Ralf Reilman, founder and director of George Huntington Institute in Germany, calls the news exciting but underline: “This is not a revolution, more an evolution”.

Austedo has been tested in a relatively small scale but shows several promising effects.  Compared to Tetrabenazine it stays longer in the blood and two dosages a day is sufficient.  Patients in the trial reported improvement in their motor functioning.  It remains to see when or if the drug will be approved by the European authoroties EMA.

Did all this sound confusing? Read about Austedos’ backround here – and learn more about how it works.

If you want to read more about Austedo and the approval go to HDBuzz or the webpage of the Huntington Study Group.