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Back To Vidyya Permax Approved For Early Use In Parkinson's Disease

Health Canada Approves Draxis Health Inc Pharmaceutical

Draxis Health Inc. announced that the Therapeutic Products Programme (TPP) of Health Canada has approved Permax® (pergolide) for use as early therapy without levodopa in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease (PD).

While Permax® had previously been indicated solely as an adjunct to levodopa for the treatment of PD, it has now been shown to also benefit patients when used alone (ie. monotherapy) in early stages of the disease.

Dr. Martin Barkin, President and CEO of Draxis Health stated, "We are very pleased to report this new development regarding Permax®. While levodopa is the main treatment for PD currently, its long term use brings about serious side effects, such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesias and, for this reason, the prescribing trend is to delay commencing levodopa therapy as long as possible."

Dr. Barkin continued, "A new three-year, double blind study presented at the 6th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders compared the effects of pergolide monotherapy and levodopa monotherapy. The results of this clinical trial, which involved 294 previously untreated patients, demonstrated that pergolide enhances patient functioning in all stages of PD and that its early use, instead of levodopa, delays the onset of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias. This represents a very positive development for Canadians suffering from PD, especially those in the early stages of the disease."

Draxis Pharmaceutica is the pharmaceutical division of Draxis Health Inc. and is responsible for overseeing clinical trials, regulatory approval, marketing, and sales of pharmaceutical products in Canada. Focusing in neurology, Draxis markets Permax® and Eldepryl® for Parkinson's disease, Alertec(TM) for narcolepsy as well as a number of products in-licensed from Elan Corporation plc. Draxis also holds the exclusive Canadian rights to Hectorol and for Levulan® photodynamic therapy / photodetection for all indications.

During the past year, Draxis Pharmaceutica has launched Elan products, Zanaflex® (tizanidine hydrochloride) and Diastat® (diazepam rectal gel), into the Canadian marketplace and has assumed marketing activities for a third product. Over the next few years a number of additional Elan products will be launched in Canada. These will include: Elan's Botulinum toxin type B injectable solution for cervical dystonia, frovatriptan for the treatment of migraine, and Ziconotide®, a novel N-type neuronal calcium channel blocker for the treatment of chronic, intractable pain that recently was deemed eligible for priority review by the TPP.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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