Belgium’s Solvay says that it has moved its Parkinson’s disease drug candidate, SLV308, into Phase III clinical development, and that it is expecting to file the product with regulatory agencies in 2007. It hopes the treatment will be available to both doctors and patients in 2008.

SLV308 is an oral therapy for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease that combines dopamine activity with serotonin and noradrenaline mood enhancing effects. Claus Steinborn, global R&D head for Solvay, said: “SLV308 is a really interesting compound from our own drug discovery pipeline with a new clinical profile and is expected to have important advantages in the management of patients with Parkinson’s Disease.”

The announcement comes hot on the heels of Solvay’s recent acquisition of Neopharma and its PD medicine Duodopa (levodopa/carbidopa). Duodopa is intended for people suffering from late stage PD, while SLV308 is for the less advanced stages, and the company expects the two will fit well alongside each other.

€ Meanwhile, Solvay is no longer expecting an advisory committee prior to US Food and Drug Administration action on its irritable bowel syndrome drug, Calmactin (cilansetron) [[02/09/04c]]. A meeting had tentatively been set for March 9, but it is now not expected to take place before the agency’s review deadline for the drug of April 1. The firm continues to expect an FDA decision on whether to approve Calmactin by the deadline, but whether it ultimately turns out to be good news for the company remains to be seen. The drug belongs to the same class as GlaxoSmithKline’s Lotronex (alosetron), which was withdrawn in 2000 after less than a year on the market, due to safety issues. The drug has since been re-launched the drug under a restricted access programme [[21/11/02c]].