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Clinical Trial Results Suggest Long-Term Treatment Benefit of,Tetrabenazine for Chorea Associated with Huntington's Disease

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2007 - New data show the investigational drug tetrabenazine maintained reduction of chorea associated with Huntington's disease (HD) up to 80 weeks in those patients who successfully completed treatment in a 13-week trial. These data suggest that tetrabenazine can be used successfully to sustain reduced chorea burden in long-term use.

"These findings demonstrate the potential benefit of tetrabenazine as maintenance therapy for U.S. patients who present with troublesome chorea," said Dr. Samuel Frank, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University Medical Center, who presented the data on behalf of the Huntington Study Group. "Following individualized patient dosing based upon response and side effects, we were able to maintain reduced chorea burden."

Tetrabenazine is designed to reversibly stop the release of dopamine, a brain chemical involved in abnormal movements such as chorea. Chorea can be a debilitating feature of a number of neurological diseases, characterized by excessive, involuntary and repetitive movements that may flow from one body part to another. The movements may involve the face, limbs or the entire body. HD is one of the more notable diseases with chorea that may at first be limited to the fingers and toes. However, as the disease advances, the abnormal movements become more widespread.

Study Design and Results

This study was an open-label study for patients who successfully completed treatment in a 13-week double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III trial. In all, 75 eligible patients enrolled in the 80-week study and were given tetrabenazine in tablet form, which was gradually increased in dose to the best individualized maintenance dose based on each research participant's response and side effects.

Forty-five of the original 75 patients completed 80 weeks of the open-label study. At week 80, disease symptoms as measured by
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