Novartis, Orion drug helps in early Parkinson's

ZURICH, April 15 Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:00am EDT

ZURICH, April 15 (Reuters) - Stalevo from Novartis AG (NOVN.VX) and Orion Corps (ORNBV.HE) controlled symptoms of early Parkinson's disease better than the current most commonly used therapy, data presented on Tuesday showed.

The data on Stalevo -- developed by Finnish drug company Orion and marketed by Novartis in the United States -- is intended to support regulatory filings for use of the drug in patients with early Parkinson's who have not been treated with the main treatment levodopa, Novartis said in a statement.

Stalevo is currently indicated for use in patients whose levodopa is no longer enough to maintain full control of symptoms until the next dose.

Results from the study of 423 patients with early Parkinson's disease were presented at an American Academy of Neurology meeting in Chicago.

Parkinson's disease, which affects about 6.5 million people worldwide, is a progressive disease of the nervous system and causes symptoms including tremors, a stooped posture and slowness or difficulty in movements. (Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by David Cowell)