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Cynapsus Therapeutics Seeks to Help Parkinson's Patients Regain Control

Researching Ways to Help Parkinson's Patients Increase Control Over Their 'Frozen' Bodies

TORONTO, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- We may all have our challenges, but people with Parkinson's disease—a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system—could have more than most. According to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, as many as one million people in the U.S. and four to five million worldwide suffer from Parkinson's, with numbers growing as populations age. The classic signs and symptoms include tremors, stiffness of the limbs, a mask-like face and difficulty walking.

In the later stages of the disease, people may wake up in a rigid or frozen state, movement-impaired and perhaps also unable to speak. This most often occurs when mainstream treatments such as levodopa or enzyme inhibitors enter the bloodstream too slowly, or wear off quickly, or just do not enter the bloodstream sufficiently. Waking up "frozen"—a state that necessitates dependence on caregivers—can understandably trigger depression, and indeed depression hits many Parkinson's patients.

Unfortunately, apomorphine—the only FDA-approved rescue therapy (which is also approved in a number of other countries) to treat these frozen episodes—has traditionally only been given by injection. This fact brings with it several disadvantages. The drug needs to be administered up to several times daily, and the injection can result in painful reactions, including irritation and nodules at the injection site, since apomorphine is only stable in a highly acidic formulation, which is irritant to human tissue it comes in contact with.

One innovative company in Toronto, Canada is actively conducting research using a sublingual thin-film strip to address these issues, and is conducting clinical development research to help those who experience these freezing episodes to gain greater control over their bodies. Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, is studying a fast-acting oral reformulation of apomorphine, known as APL-130277, that dissolves under the tongue. This new means of delivering the drug is intended for ease of patient use and to avoid the disadvantages that come with the injectable version. Cynapsus is currently conducting a Phase 1 trial for APL-130277.

"You can just imagine how frightening it is to wake up in a rigid state," says Cynapsus Therapeutics President and CEO Anthony Giovinazzo. "We hope APL-130277 will be able to improve the lives of those who experience them."

To learn more about this company's rapidly developing innovations for people with Parkinson's, visit

Contact:  Laura Radocaj, Dian Griesel Int'l., 212.825.3210

SOURCE Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc.

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Posted: October 2013