A new therapy for Parkinson's disease has been launched throughout the UK, offering patients the potential to access the first new treatment option for the condition in over a decade.

Zambon and its partner Newron Pharmaceuticals have now rolled out Xadago (safinamide) across the country, more than a year after it was approved by European regulators and following launches in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden.

Xadago is a once-daily therapy offering a unique mode of action including selective and reversible MAO-B-inhibition and blocking of voltage dependent sodium channels, which leads to modulation of abnormal glutamate release. Clinical trials have demonstrated its efficacy in controlling motor symptoms and motor complications in the short term, with data supporting this effect over two years, the firms noted.

The drug is indicated for the treatment of adults with idiopathic PD as an add-on therapy to a stable dose of the gold standard Levodopa (L-dopa), alone or in combination with other PD medicines, in mid-to late-stage fluctuating patients.

At the time of the drug's approval, Arthur Roach, Parkinson's UK director of research and development, said the drug "has been shown to have benefits for patients, but it is important to note its effects are similar to other MAO-B inhibiting drugs".

"We now have one more tool for managing the symptoms of Parkinson's. As more clinical experience is obtained, safinamide may emerge as a favoured choice in some situations".

PD is the second most common chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorder in the elderly after Alzheimer's disease, affecting 1-2 percent of individuals aged more than 65 years around the globe.