ReQuip cuts risk of dyskinesias by 15-fold in early Parkinson's disease

Vancouver, Canada - A landmark, multinational, 5-year study shows that the dopamine-agonist ReQuip® (ropinirole hydrochloride, SmithKline Beecham) is associated with a much lower incidence of dyskinesias than L-dopa, and has comparable efficacy to L-dopa in the management of early Parkinson's Disease. The results of this exciting study are released today for the first time at the XIII International Congress on Parkinson's Disease (ICPD), Vancouver, 24-28 July, 1999.

"This landmark study should affect the future management of Parkinson's Disease. The data demonstrate that ropinirole is a first-line option for the initial treatment of early Parkinson's Disease," commented lead author of the study, Professor Olivier Rascol, Professor of Pharmacology at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Toulouse, France.

"This is important news for patients, as we can now hope for good control of their symptoms with less risk of dyskinesias," concluded Dr Donald Calne, Chairman of the ICPD, and Director of the Neurodegenerative Disorders Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

The 268 patients participating in this double-blind controlled study, conducted in Europe, Israel and Canada, were randomised to receive either ReQuip® or L-dopa -- the current standard therapy. Both treatment groups were allowed to receive supplementary L-dopa if required.

The study demonstrated that the probability (odds ratio) of developing dyskinesias was 3.8 times higher for patients receiving L-dopa (incidence 46%) than for patients receiving ReQuip®, either alone or with additional L-dopa (incidence 20%). In patients who completed the trial on ReQuip® alone, the benefit was found to be even greater, with the relative probability of dyskinesias 15.2 times higher in the L-dopa group (incidence 36%) than the ReQuip® group (incidence 5%).

Over the 5-year study period, both groups of patients experienced similar control of their symptoms. A

Contact: Kate Davies (Vancouver)
MediTech Media Ltd.

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