ORIGINAL About.com article: http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2011/09/12/possible-fibromyalgia-drug-moves-forward.htm
Possible Fibromyalgia Drug Moves Forward
By Adrienne Dellwo, About.com Guide
NEWSBRIEF: The U.S. Patent Office has issued a new patent to Chelsea Therapeutics for its drug droxidopa as a fibromyalgia treatment, according to the company. The patent is based on positive results of previous trials and would give Chelsea exclusive rights to produce the drug for a certain period of time, if it receives FDA approval.
Chelsea says it is gearing up to start its second phase 2 trial of droxidopa and has enrolled 120 fibromyalgia patients. The company expects to release preliminary results by the end of 2011.
What is Droxidopa?
Droxidopa is a synthetic version of a substance your body uses to make the neurotransmitter/hormone norepinephrine. Norepinephrine performs several important functions, and your body also uses it to produce dopamine, another important neurotransmitter. Studies have shown that this drug can improve fatigue, weakness, concentration, and orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure drop upon standing, which causes dizziness) in several conditions.
The drug is not yet approved in the U.S. for any use. However, it is currently in phase 2 trials for chronic fatigue syndrome and phase 3 trials for orthostatic hypotension in Parkinson's disease.
Based on typical timelines for drug testing and approval, this drug could be on the market in 3 to 5 years, if current trials are successful.