BAYSIDE, N.Y. and GERMANTOWN, Md., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The national Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) and Psyadon Pharmaceuticals Inc. are pleased to announce their collaboration on a clinical trial to determine the potential efficacy of a novel drug, ecopipam, for managing the symptoms of the neurological disorder Tourette Syndrome (TS).
"This is the first time in our 39-year history that TSA has collaborated with the pharmaceutical industry and helped to fund a clinical drug trial for the potential treatment of TS. It marks the beginning of a new phase in our efforts to facilitate the development of effective and safe medications that are urgently needed for people with TS," said Judit Ungar, President of the NY-based not-for-profit organization.
The TSA will also assist with subject recruitment for the clinical trial of ecopipam, the rights to which are owned by Psyadon.
Marked by involuntary movements and sounds called "tics," TS is an inherited, neurobiological disorder frequently misunderstood by the public and often misdiagnosed medically.
Various off-label drugs are prescribed by medical professionals for TS, but of these, only two — pimozide and haloperidol — are approved by the FDA for the treatment of TS. These medications often provide only mild to moderate benefit and have poorly tolerated side effects that limit their use.
The FDA granted ecopipam an orphan-drug designation for the treatment of TS in September 2010. Richard Chipkin, President and CEO of Psyadon, stated, "We are honored to be selected as the first company the TSA has collaborated with on a clinical drug study. Experiments in animals suggest that ecopipam, which belongs to a class of agents referred to as dopamine D1 antagonists, interacts with nerve cells and systems in the brain that are thought to contribute to the development of tics and other symptoms in TS. Based on these studies, there is a good rationale an