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The First Treatment Specifically Approved for Huntington's Disease Patients is Now Available in the United States

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 General News J E 4
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NEW YORK, Nov. 24 Xenazine(R) (tetrabenazine) Tablets, thefirst and only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug for thetreatment of chorea associated with Huntington's Disease (HD), is nowavailable in the United States. Patients, caregivers, physicians and familymembers have been waiting for decades for a single treatment option. TheHuntington's Disease Society of America is pleased that for the first timeever people with HD will have an approved option to consider to treat theirchorea. Xenazine, which lessons the effects of chorea, will be distributed byOvation Pharmaceuticals through a network of specialty pharmacies.

"The launch of Xenazine represents a significant milestone for thepatients, families and caregivers affected by HD. After years of advocatingfor the approval of Xenazine, we are so pleased that it is now available herein the U.S. and that Ovation is committed to making this product accessible toas many individuals as possible who are living with this rare and devastatingcondition," said Barbara Boyle, National Executive Director/CEO, Huntington'sDisease Society of America. Ovation has developed comprehensive patientsupport programs to ensure that as many qualified individuals as possible canreceive Xenazine and to mitigate patients having problems accessing the drugdue to financial constraints.

Huntington's Disease is a devastating hereditary brain disorder withlimited effective treatment options. HD slowly diminishes the affectedindividual's ability to walk, talk and reason. Eventually, the person with HDbecomes totally dependent upon others for his or her care. Huntington'sDisease profoundly affects the lives of entire families -- emotionally,socially and economically More than a quarter of a million Americans have HDor are "at risk" of inheriting the disease from an affected parent. HDaffects as many people as Hemophilia, Cystic Fibrosis or ALS. HD affectsmales and females equally in all ethnicities. Each child of a person with HDhas a 50 percent chance of inheriting the fatal gene. Everyone who carriesthe defective gene will develop the disease.

For some individuals, HD begins with chorea, a symptom present in anestimated 90 percent of people with HD. Chorea is a debilitating movementdisorder characterized by excessive, involuntary and repetitive movements thatare one of the most visible manifestations of Huntington Disease. Choreainterferes with individuals' ability to perform activities of daily living,including dressing, bathing and caring for themselves.

About Huntington's Disease Society of America

Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) is a national non-profitorganization dedicated to finding a cure for Huntington's Disease (HD) whileproviding support and services for those living with HD and their families.HDSA promotes and supports both clinical and basic HD research, aids familiesin coping with the multi-faceted problems presented by HD and educates thefamilies, the public and health care professionals about Huntington's Disease.For more information call (800)-345-HDSA, visit http://www.hdsa.org or e-mailhdsainfo@hdsa.org.To find out more about Xenazine and if it is the right treatment for you: -- Go see your physician -- Call 1-888-882-6013 -- Visit Xenazineusa.com

SOURCE Huntington's Disease Society of America
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