Apomorphine for Treatment of Advanced Symptoms of PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Apomorphine has been available for many years as a “rescue” drug to help people with symptoms of advanced PARKINSON’S DISEASE, such as becoming frozen or having debilitating “off” periods. Because of its serious side effects has not been a drug of choice for many neurologists or patients. Apomorphine needs to be injected under the skin, which is painful and causes scaring. Once injected, it causes immediate nausea and vomiting; plus it needs to be maintained in an acidic composition. All of these ‘side effects’ make it a difficult remedy for an already too difficult set of symptoms.
Many pharmaceutical companies have tried for many years to find a viable formulation and delivery method to make Apomorphine more convenient and helpful for people with PARKINSON’S DISEASE. It has been put into patches, pumps and suppositories, and none of them have been effective in getting sufficient quantities of the medication into the bloodstream without causing major irritations or side effects.
The Canadian company Cynapsus has now developed a novel packaging and delivery method that avoids the adverse reactions with this medication. They have packaged in in a thin filmstrip that dissolves under the tongue, similar to the strips of mouthwash product, Listerine. The medication is embedded in the filmstrip, called APL-130277, which maintains the acidity until it dissolves in the mouth, and it is able to penetrate into the bloodstream within two minutes. It is not quite as fast acting as the injected form, but if negotiations with the Food and Drug Administration go well, the company will be moving ahead with clinical trials this summer. Because Apomorphine is already a known and approved medication, safety trials will not be necessary, which should also help speed this product to market.