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Forest looks to extend Alzheimer's drug

Forest Laboratories has announced that patients taking a once-daily formulation of its Alzheimer's drug Namenda (memantine) in a late-stage clinical trial had a significant improvement in symptoms compared with those who received a placebo.

Forest Laboratories has announced that patients taking a once-daily formulation of its Alzheimer's drug Namenda (memantine) in a late-stage clinical trial had a significant improvement in symptoms compared with those who received a placebo.

Analysts believe this is an attempt by the pharma company to extend the patent of the drug, which is already sold in a twice-daily 10mg formulation.

Forest has evaluated the efficacy and safety of an once-daily 28mg extended release version of Namenda in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease currently treated with a cholinesterase inhibitor. 

"The higher dosage and once-daily formulation will provide patients with the efficacy and tolerability expected from Namenda, in a more convenient once-daily form," said Ivan Gergel, senior vice president of scientific affairs at Forest Laboratories and President of the Forest Research Institute.

Based on the results of this study, Forest plans to pursue a new drug application for the Namenda extended-release once-daily formulation.

2nd September 2008

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