Washington Patent of the Month – August 2023

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain, leading to motor symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, and difficulty in movement. Currently, the primary treatment for PD involves oral administration of levodopa, a precursor of dopamine, along with a peripheral dopa decarboxylase inhibitor (DDI) to enhance its effectiveness. However, oral treatment has limitations due to variable absorption and fluctuations in motor function.

Impel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading pioneer in the field of neurology, has introduced a groundbreaking method for treating PD. Their patented method involves delivering a dry pharmaceutical composition directly to the nasal surface area of the patient. The composition comprises levodopa, DDI, and excipients, and can be administered intranasally using a specially designed delivery device.

This novel approach offers several advantages over traditional oral administration. By delivering the medication directly to the respiratory tract, absorption becomes rapid and consistent, reducing fluctuations in motor function. Additionally, this method eliminates the need for concomitant oral DDI, simplifying the treatment regimen and potentially improving patient compliance.

Clinical studies have shown promising results with the intranasal delivery of levodopa and DDI. Patients experienced rapid reversal of motor symptoms within 60 minutes, accompanied by a significant increase in plasma levodopa concentration. The formulation of the dry pharmaceutical composition ensures optimal drug delivery, with particles sized between 1 μm and 500 μm, allowing for efficient absorption in the respiratory tract.

Impel Pharmaceuticals’ intranasal treatment method not only benefits patients with PD but also shows promise in addressing other Parkinson syndromes resulting from toxic insults. Whether it is post-encephalitic parkinsonism, symptomatic parkinsonism following carbon monoxide or manganese intoxication, this innovative approach offers hope for improved management of these conditions.

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