Acorda Therapeutics Fails On Safety Fears For Tozadenant Parkinson’s Drug

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Acorda Therapeutics shares are decreasing following news that their drug that treats Parkinson’s, tozadenant, has been linked to a potentially deadly side effect.

It was confirmed today that a group of patients in the third phase of the program developed agranulocytosis, when the human body’s white cell count declines, that was somehow related to the drug, and has resulted to be fatal.

The biotech’s shares went down by more than a third as the investors who were looking into the incident attempted to measure the overall seriousness of the situation regarding the Parkinson’s drug.

Tozadenant is an orally administered, A2a receptor antagonist that is designed to work with the “off” times of Parkinson’s patients who take the standard treatment, levodopa or carbidopa.

This drug was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics last year for the price of $363 million when it bought Biotie, and Finnish biotech firm.

Previously, Acorda had said that tozadenant could potentially develop into a product valued at $400 million if it were to become approved, it would become the first new class of drug approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s in the United States in more than twenty years.

This is not the first time a Parkinson’s drug has had trouble with unexpected side effects. Other drugs similar to it have had to deal with abandoning their candidates in late-stage testing due to failure to show results.

Tozadenant is accompanied by CVT-30, which is an inhaled formulation of levodopa which already has been filed for its approval after phase 3 results where analysts stated it had a 90% chance of approval, where it could be make the product to be valued at $500 million at its peak.

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