This week, Neurology News Network covered the removal of pregnancy contraindications from 2 interferon-beta therapies for MS by the European Medicine Agency; positive data presented at MDS 2019 on oral tavapadon, which proved safe and efficacious in early-stage Parkinson disease; and new phase 2 data on pimavanserin for the treatment of depression in patients with Parkinson disease. (Transcript below)

Alicia: Welcome to Neurology News Network. I’m Alicia Bigica. Let’s get into the news from this week.

New recommendations from the European Medicine Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use call for the removal of pregnancy contraindications for 2 interferon-beta treatments, Plegridy and Avonex. The recommendation was based off of data from several national health registries that demonstrated no increased risk for major congenital anomalies with exposure to the drug, as well as no harmful effect on breastfed newborns.

Data presented at the 2019 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders showed positive results with oral tavapadon, an investigational drug being studied in patients with Parkinson disease. The drug, which resulted in a 9-point reduction in the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale score, could potentially serve as monotherapy in early-stage disease, and as adjunct therapy to levodopa for patients with late-stage disease. The agent, which also showed a favorable tolerability and safety profile, will enter into phase 3 development in 2020.

Also at the meeting, new data on pimavanserin was presented, demonstrating the drugs positive effects on depressive symptoms in patients with Parkinson disease. Results from the phase 2, open-label study found that pimavanserin, which is approved and marketed as Nuplazid for Parkinson’s psychosis, showed that patients who received the study drug as monotherapy or as an adjunct to SSRI or SNRI therapy, reported significant improvements in scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale as early as the second week.

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