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New drug for Huntington's sufferers

4th April 2006

A drug used in the treatment of Chorea associated with Huntington's disease has received conditional approval for its use in the US.

Xenazine, manufactured by Cambridge Laboratories and licensed to Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, has been deemed safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) although it stipulated that some conditions would have to be met before the drug could be made available to the public.

The drug inhibits vesicular monoamine transporter two, which is known to cause the symptoms of Chorea, typically involuntary and repetitive movements in the face or limbs.

Around 30,000 Huntington's sufferers in the US have also developed Chorea.

Mark Evans, chief executive officer at Cambridge Laboratories, commented: "We are delighted that Xenazine is progressing towards commercialisation in the US on the back of very encouraging Phase III data reported earlier in the year.

"Prestwick is committed to making this much needed product available to patients in the US and working closely with the FDA to satisfy the conditions specified in the approvable letter."

Six countries in Europe are also currently considering granting trading rights to the drug.