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In an important highlight from the 2010 CHDI meetings, Dr. Joakim Tedroff from NeuroSearch presented very encouraging preliminary results from the Phase 3 ACR-16 (Huntexil) trial in Europe. This trial will almost certainly bring forward a new drug treatment for Huntington's (HD) that significantly improves, not just stabilizes motor ability. Trial results also showed a trend toward cognitive improvement, and very importantly that there were no significant drug side effects. This drug is not only effective, it has safety features to allow its use in all those with HD. And in other promising news outside of the trial, NeuroSearch has shown that metabolic improvement occurs in the the brains of Huntington's patients who have taken the drug.

As in North America, the trial had 3 different groups: those on placebo, or a lower dose of drug (45 mg/day), or a higher dose (90 mg/ day). But differing from the North American trial, a fraction of those in each group were allowed to take neuroleptic (antipsychotic) medication.

Results from the preliminary analysis

Remaining questions: NeuroSearch will be able to assess whether the drug benefit varies with the stage of the disease when they complete the analysis. But as happens in all clinical trials there are unanswered questions that will require more human study.

Editor's comments: Although some might be disappointed that the beneficial effects seen in this trial aren't greater, these results are truly cause for celebration. This drug improves voluntary motor function and probably improves aspects of cognition as well. We've learned that the effect lasts 6 months with possible improvement for a longer period of time. And if this weren't enough, Huntexil might modify the course of the disease since the effect of Huntexil seemed to increase with time. And it is safe for use in all people with HD.

Bottom line: This drug is a real winner. And as fast as possible we need to push enrollment over the top for ACR16 in North America. Sign up today.