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Deutetrabenazine: A Review in Chorea Associated with Huntington’s Disease

online resource
posted on 2018-04-10, 03:44 authored by Young-A Heo, Lesley J. Scott
Compliance with Ethical Standards

Funding: The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.

Conflicts of interest: Young-A Heo and Lesley Scott are salaried employee of Adis/Springer, are responsible for the article content and declares no relevant conflicts of interest.

Additional information about this Adis Drug Review can be found here.


Oral deutetrabenazine (Austedo™), a reversible inhibitor of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (VMAT2) that is structurally related to tetrabenazine is approved for the treatment of chorea symptoms associated with Huntington’s disease (HD). In the pivotal 12-week phase III FIRST-HD trial (n = 90), deutetrabenazine, at doses titrated for optimal chorea control and tolerability (maintenance dosage range 12–48 mg/day), was significantly more effective for controlling chorea in HD patients than placebo. In the ongoing phase III ARC-HD trial, a preliminary analysis demonstrated that deutetrabenazine treatment was associated with improvements in chorea control at 54 weeks in patients who had completed FIRST-HD (i.e. ≤66 weeks’ treatment; rollover cohort) or switched overnight from tetrabenazine to deutetrabenazine. The tolerability profile of deutetrabenazine is similar to that of placebo, with most treatment-emergent adverse events of mild or moderate severity. In both trials, with the exception of somnolence, individual neuropsychiatric adverse events typically occurred in <7% of deutetrabenazine recipients; in FIRST-HD, there was no significant difference in the incidence of individual neuropsychiatric events between the deutetrabenazine and placebo groups. The favourable pharmacokinetic (PK) profile of deutetrabenazine permits a lower dosage than tetrabenazine, thereby potentially improving the safety profile of deutetrabenazine versus tetrabenazine, whilst maintaining its efficacy. Long-term clinical experience will assist in fully defining the safety profile of deutetrabenazine. Current evidence, albeit relatively limited, indicates that deutetrabenazine provides an effective and potentially better tolerated option than tetrabenazine for controlling chorea symptoms associated with HD. Access to the full article can be found here.

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017


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