"Neupro® represents an innovation in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome," said Prof. Dr. Iris Loew-Friedrich, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Projects and Development at UCB. "UCB is thrilled to make Neupro® available to patients living with these serious diseases."
"RLS can be a serious condition with symptoms that can affect patients at any point in the day or night; and Parkinson's disease symptoms can have a broad impact on patients. Neupro® provides a novel way of treating RLS and PD through continuous transdermal dopaminergic delivery. It can help patients manage the unpredictable nature of these chronic conditions," said William Ondo, M.D., Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Texas at Houston Medical School, Adult and Pediatric Movement Disorders.
As a PD treatment, the mechanism of action of Neupro® is thought to be related to its ability to stimulate dopamine receptors within the caudate-putamen, the region of the brain that regulates movement. Similarly, in RLS, the mechanism of action of Neupro® may be related to its ability to stimulate dopamine receptors. The precise mechanism of action of Neupro as a treatment for these diseases is unknown.
Data Demonstrated Symptom Improvement for Parkinson's Disease and RLS
The effectiveness of Neupro® in the treatment of the signs and symptoms of idiopathic PD was established in five parallel group, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials conducted in the U.S. and abroad. Depending on trial design, patients underwent a weekly titration of Neupro® in 2 mg/24 hours increments to either the randomized dose or optimal dose.
In three trials, statistically significant improvements in the combined scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) were observed in early stage PD patients receiving Neupro® compared with patients receiving placebo. The UPDRS is a multi-item rating scale intended to evaluate mentation, activities of daily living (ADL), motor performance, and complications of therapy. The three trials measured only the ADL and motor performance sections of the UPDRS. The UPDRS contains 13 questions relating to ADL, such as speech, dressing, and cutting food with utensils, and 27 questions related to the cardinal motor symptoms in PD patients - i.e., tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability.
Two trials of Neupro® in patients with advanced PD examined change from baseline in "off" time, periods when the effectiveness of medications wears off and PD symptoms return. Statistically significant changes in off-times were observed in advanced PD patients receiving Neupro® compared with those who received placebo.
Data Showed Continuous Relief, Symptom Control for Restless Legs Syndrome
The efficacy of Neupro® in the treatment of RLS was primarily evaluated in two fixed-dose, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with six-month maintenance periods. Patients received Neupro® doses ranging from 0.5 mg/24 hours to 3 mg/24 hours, or placebo, once daily.
Statistically significant improvements in sum scores on the International RLS Rating Scale (IRLS Scale) and the Clinical Global Impression - Improvement (CGI-I) assessment were observed in RLS patients receiving Neupro® compared with those receiving placebo. The IRLS Scale contains 10 items designed to assess the severity of sensory and motor symptoms, sleep disturbance, daytime somnolence, and impact on activities of daily living and mood associated with RLS. The CGI-I is designed to clinically assess progress in RLS symptoms on a 7-point scale.
In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥5% greater than placebo) for the highest recommended doses of Neupro for treatment of Parkinson's disease were nausea, vomiting, somnolence, application site reactions, dizziness, anorexia, hyperhidrosis, and insomnia. The most common adverse reactions (≥5% greater than placebo) for the highest recommended dose of Neupro for treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome were application site reactions, nausea, somnolence, and headache.
About Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative neurological disease which affects approximately seven million to 10 million people worldwide. PD develops with the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce a chemical called dopamine. The symptoms of PD can have an impact on many dimensions of patients' lives. As dopamine levels fall, movement (motor) symptoms—tremors (uncontrollable shaking), rigidity (stiffness or muscle tensing) and bradykinesia (slowness and loss of spontaneous movement) - can progress, along with the underlying symptoms of PD, which are less well recognized and may be under-treated. Underlying symptoms occur in over 90% of PD patients and include sleep disturbance, such as insomnia, vivid dreams and daytime drowsiness, mood and cognitive changes, pain, depression, anxiety, apathy, gastrointestinal disorders, sexual dysfunction, bladder problems and fatigue.
About Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move to gain relief. Over 80% of people with RLS also have periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which causes rhythmic limb movements during sleep. RLS affects between three percent and 10 percent of the U.S. population to some extent. Some estimates are much higher because RLS is thought to be underdiagnosed, and in some cases, misdiagnosed. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Daytime symptoms of RLS, such as inability to sit still and involuntary leg jerks, are increasingly recognized. While the underlying pathophysiology of RLS is not fully understood, it is thought to involve central dopamine systems. Recent neuroimaging data suggest that RLS patients may carry an abnormality in dopamine transport that can be visualized both day and night. RLS can cause exhaustion and daytime fatigue, and may affect work and personal relationships. Patients with moderate-to-severe RLS are often unable to concentrate, have impaired memory, or fail to accomplish daily tasks. These patients may require long-term treatment for their RLS symptoms.
About Neupro® in the U.S.
Neupro® (Rotigotine Transdermal System) is indicated for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of idiopathic Parkinson's disease and moderate-to-severe primary Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
About Neupro® in the European Union
Neupro® (rotigotine) is approved in the European Union for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of early-stage idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, as monotherapy (i.e. without levodopa) or in combination with levodopa, i.e. over the course of the disease, through to late stages when the effect of levodopa wears off or becomes inconsistent and fluctuations of the therapeutic effect occur (end of dose or on-off fluctuations). Neupro® is also approved in the European Union for the symptomatic treatment of moderate to severe idiopathic Restless Legs Syndrome in adults.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8,500 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2011. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).