Eisai drug flunks Parkinson's trial

Eisai's has halted development of Perampanel (E2007) for Parkinson's after the drug failed a late-stage trial. Compared with placebo, E2007 didn't show a significant difference in the primary endpoint of reduction of "off" time (how long it takes for the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease return as the effect of levodopa wears off).

Perampanel is in development for a number of other indications, including neuropathic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and migraine prophylaxis. Eisai stressed that this trial failure was not indicative of larger problems with the drug. "The decision to terminate the Parkinson's disease program is due to lack of efficacy over placebo seen in the recently completed two Phase III studies only, and is not predictive of activity in the other indications including epilepsy and neuropathic pain."

In three years Eisai will lose patent protection for Aricept, a Alzheimer's drug which accounts for 40 percent of the company's sales. Finding drugs to make up the gap is a top priority for the the company.

- see Eisai's release for more