November 2, 2009 / 10:13 AM / 10 years ago

Lundbeck says expands stroke drug candidate trials

COPENHAGEN, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Danish pharmaceutical group Lundbeck (LUN.CO) said on Monday it had started phase IIa clinical trials on a candidate drug it is developing for stroke patients to expand its range to another nervous system disorder.

Lundbeck said it began trials with its Lu AA24493 drug candidate in Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare inherited disease that causes damage to the nervous system resulting in symptoms ranging from gait disturbance and speech problems to heart disease.

“The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of two weeks treatment with a fixed dose Lu AA24493 in patients with Friedreich’s ataxia,” Lundbeck said.

Lu AA24493 is currently being developed for acute ischaemic stroke, the firm said.

Lundbeck generates most of its revenue from antidepressant Cipralex, sold in the United States as Lexapro. The patents on the drug expire in major markets in 2012 to 2014, so the firm is trying to replace it with new products.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Erica Billingham

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