drug maker Novartis AG (NVS), which has a special focus
on neuroscience, today announced that its Exelon patch
rivastigmine transdermal system, which can be applied
to the back, chest or upper arm of the body, has been
granted the first worldwide approval in the US as an
effective medication for mild to moderate Alzheimer''s
disease patients as an alternative to oral medication.
says that the once-daily skin patch could assure delivery
of drug over 24 hours and maintains steady drug levels
in the bloodstream. It helps improve tolerability in
a higher proportion of patients receiving the therapeutic
doses compared to the oral form of the medication. Unlike
with the oral form of drug that may cause gastrointestinal
side effects, the Exelon patch ensures that the medication
has been administered with minimized side effects.
says that during trials, there were three times fewer
reports of nausea and vomiting than with the capsule
form of the drug and said that in trials of 1,200 patients,
Exelon patch showed similar efficacy to the highest
doses of Exelon capsules. The recommended dose was well
tolerated in the trial, it added.
said Exelon is the first and only transdermal treatment
for Alzheimer''s. The placebo controlled clinical trial
recorded significant benefits and improved memory and
overall functioning of patients. The company is planning
to make the patches available in the market soon.
disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that
alters the brain, causing impaired memory, thinking
and behaviour. Statistics show that around 18 million
people worldwide have Alzheimer''s disease, with the
US alone reporting more than five million people suffering
from the degenerative disease.
on the approval, James Shannon, global head of development
at Novartis Pharma said, "Exelon Patch addresses
an important medical need by delivering a proven drug
in an entirely new form that meets the needs of patients
and their caregivers."