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Lundbeck, Otsuka Alzheimer's Drug Shows Improved Cognition in Study

Phase III Trial to Begin Soon (July 16)

An experimental drug to treat Alzheimer's disease proved effective in improving cognitive performance in a mid-stage study, Danish pharmaceutical group Lundbeck, one of the drug's two developers, said.

The drug, Lu AE58054, showed statistically significant cognitive improvement in a Phase II clinical trial of patients suffering from moderate Alzheimer's, when used as an add-on to the drug donepezil for six months.

Lundbeck is developing the drug jointly with Japan's Otsuka to treat Alzheimer's, a degenerative brain disease that causes progressive memory loss.

"Lu AE58054 potentially represents a new approach to Alzheimer's disease and a continuation of Lundbeck's commitment to addressing this complicated disease," Anders Gersel Pedersen, head of research and development at Lundbeck, said in a statement.

Lundbeck agreed to develop the treatment with Otsuka in March. It has said the drug could have the potential to generate sales in the United States of over $1 billion per year, a level that is considered blockbuster for a drug.

Lundbeck and Otsuka will initiate a Phase III clinical program in about 3,000 patients during the second half of 2013.

Donepezil is made by Eisai and Pfizer and sold under the brand name Aricept.

[Source: Reuters]

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