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Ebixa takes on Alzheimer's market leaders

Published on 09/11/05 at 09:42am

Lundbeck's Alzheimer's treatment Ebixa will compete directly with the leading treatments for the moderate form of the disease following an extension to its European licence.

In the UK the treatment of moderate Alzheimer's was previously restricted to Eisai's Aricept (Donepezil), Novartis' Exelon (rivastigmine) and Shire's Reminyl (galantamine).

The older three drugs are all acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and Lundbeck's Ebixa (memantine) is the first drug in its NMDA-receptor antagonist class to receive this indication and the only treatment indicated for moderate, moderately severe and severe Alzheimer's disease.

The approval does not cover the early mild stage of Alzheimer's disease, for which Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl are indicated, and Lundbeck does not expect the approval to affect its 2005 financial results.

Aricept was the most popular treatment with GPs last year with the NHS spending £31 million on it in England, compared with £6 million on Reminyl, £4 million on Exelon and £1 million on Ebixa.

Earlier this year NICE withdrew its 2001 recommendation for all four Alzheimer's treatments saying they were not cost-effective.

Ebixa (memantine) was first approved in the EU in May 2002 and is marketed in the US by Forest Laboratories under the brand name Namenda.

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NICE calls for more Alzheimer's evidence to head off row

Wednesday, July 20, 2005






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