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MS symptom drug approved in US

The US FDA has approved Ampyra (dalfampridine) extended release tablets to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Ampyra (dalfampridine) extended release tablets to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Ampyra is the first therapy to be approved for this use.

The drug will be manufactured by Irish pharmaceutical company, Elan, and will be distributed in the US by Acorda Therapeutics.

Shane Cooke, executive vice president and head of Elan Drug Technologies said: "We wish to congratulate Acorda Therapeutics on the approval of Ampyra, which will bring a very important and much needed therapy to the market for MS sufferers."

Data from clinical trials shows that patients treated with Ampyra had faster walking speeds than those receiving a placebo. MS is a chronic disease affecting the central nervous system, often with disability affects. It is estimated to affect around 400,000 people in the US and 2.5 million people worldwide.

When given in doses higher than the recommended 10mg twice daily, Ampyra can cause seizures. Other reported side effects include insomnia, nausea, weakness and balance disorder.

25th January 2010

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