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Drug Discovery

FDA approves first deuterated drug

Small molecule is more effective against Huntington’s disease symptom

April 10, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 15

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has won FDA approval of Austedo (deutetrabenazine), a deuterated version of tetrabenazine, which was first identified 50 years ago. The drug is intended to treat involuntary writhing movements, or chorea, in peoples with Huntington’s disease. The six deuteriums replace hydrogen and give the molecule a longer lifetime in the body than tetrabenazine does. Both drugs inhibit a vesicular transporter that regulates dopamine in the brain; neither cure the disease (see page 18).

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Comments
Anthony Addlagatta (April 13, 2017 8:27 PM)
Good to see that micro Engineering adds value to the drug. I am curious to know if these deuterated Drugs need to go through battery of pre-clinical and clinical tests like the parent molecule or can directly get into the market?
Gerald Weiss (April 19, 2017 6:37 PM)
Yes. The stability and change in sterio-chemistry of the 5 carbon group next to the carbonyl group may effect the function of this drug. Again can the deuterium atoms exchange with other hydrogen atoms?

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