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Autism Speaks reports Neuropharm's SOFIA results
Date:2/18/2009

NEW YORK, NY (2/18/2009) -- Autism Speaks today announced initial results reported for the first industry-sponsored trial of the Autism Clinical Trials Network (ACTN), the Study of Fluoxetine in Autism (SOFIA). These results showed that fluoxetine was not effective for reducing repetitive behaviors in children and adolescents with Autistic Disorder as compared to placebo (non-medicinal sugar pill). The study was carried out in collaboration with study sponsor, Neuropharm Group Plc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on neurodevelopmental disorders.

The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of Neuropharm's new low-dose form of fluoxetine, known as NPL-2008, which is designed specifically for the treatment of Autistic Disorders in children and adolescents. NPL-2008 uses the Zydis melt-in-the-mouth formula, intended to be an easier form of the medication for children. The study showed that repetitive behaviors were reduced when children were given either NPL-2008 or a placebo, but no differences between groups were found in terms of the level of reduction of repetitive behaviors. Thus, it was concluded that NPL-2008 was not more efficacious than the placebo. The new formulation was generally well tolerated by patients and no serious adverse events were reported.

Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., Autism Speaks' Chief Science Officer remarked, "The development of effective drugs that are easily taken by individuals with autism is an important goal. While it is disappointing that NPL-2008 was not found to be effective for reducing repetitive behaviors, this study does highlight the importance of high quality, rigorously controlled clinical trials. Studies like this help build the evidence-base and offer parents guidance in making more informed decisions about their child's clinical care."

The Autism Speaks ACTN was launched in 2005 to address the need for more thoroughly tested biological treatments for autism. The ACTN provides a
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Contact: Jane Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert

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