LONDON _ NeuroSearch A/S, of Glostrup, Denmark,has brought its first candidate to the clinic since thecompany's founding in 1989: a potential Parkinson'sdisease drug, NS 2214, a dopamine uptake inhibitor.

Previous trials with well recognized animal models ofParkinson's disease indicate that NS 2214 differs fromother treatments in its biological mode of action, theduration of activity and the impact of side effects. ThisPhase I study will be conducted in the U.K.

"NS 2214 is able to affect the relevant parts of the brainin a more physiologically correct way and we anticipate itwill avoid the unwanted side effects seen by the existingtreatment," Jorgen Buus Lassen, president and CEO ofNeuroSearch, told BioWorld Today.

Parkinson's disease is caused by progressive degenerationof dopamine neurons in specific brain areas controllingmovement of the body. The existing therapy is based onthe dopamine precursor L-DOPA and dopamine agonists,which, for a restricted time period, alleviate somesymptoms of Parkinsonism.

Lassen said that NS 2214, which inhibits dopamineuptake, will be fast-tracked by regulatory authorities as itoffers a treatment for a severe disease which is notcurrently treatable. He said his company could file a newdrug application for NS 2214 as early as 1998.

NeuroSearch plans to enter into licensing agreementswith one or several companies to accelerate the globaldevelopment of NS 2214. It already has collaborativeagreements for potential therapies of other centralnervous system diseases with Glaxo-Wellcome ofLondon, Meija Seika Kaisha Ltd. of Tokyo, and Warner-Lambert Co. of Morris Plains, N.J. _ Mike Ward

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.