Drug developments in Parkinson’s disease

Have you heard the latest drug developments in Parkinson’s disease? I thought I’d take a minute to break it all down for you…



Impax Laboratories Inc.‘s drug called “RYTARY™” was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration early January (and available in 4 weeks). RYTARY™ is an extended release carbidopa-levodopa available in 4 strengths. Patients taking RYTARY™ in a clinical trial experienced significantly less “off” time and more “on” time without troublesome dyskinesia each day. RYTARY™ is designed to address one of the most significant unmet needs: reduce the amount of time during the day when symptoms are not adequately controlled.

MJ Fox Foundation has a great podcast explaining what causes “OFF” episodes in PD. You can listed to it HERE.


On January 12th, AbbVie Inc.’s drug called “DUOPA™” was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. DUOPA™ is a small portable infusion pump that delivers the carbidopa-levodopa directly to the small intestine. It is thought to be effective for 16 hours as opposed to existing oral formulations that last for up to four hours following a single dose.

National Parkinson Foundation reports that in a clinical trial, patients treated with DUOPA™ experienced significantly greater improvement in “off” time than patients treated with oral carbidopa-levodopa immediate release tablets. This is especially important for people with Parkinson’s suffering from motor fluctuations and other disabling symptoms.

Here is Dr. James Beck, from Parkinson Disease Foundation, discussing Duopa.


Israeli company Neuroderm announced in December, 2014 that it saw clinically significant levels of levodopa in plasma in a Phase II trial of its pump system to deliver a liquid form of levodopa/carbidopa (funded by MJFF). Neuroderm is also testing a pump-patch product to deliver the drugs under the skin. That product resembles a nicotine patch with microneedles to inject the drug. Similar to DUOPA™, the aim is to maintain consistent levodopa concentrations.

What do you think – are you interested in trying any of these new medications if/when they are available in your area? much love.


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