Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride, brand name in China: ) has been approved for the additional indication of severe Alzheimer‘s disease in China. Aricept is the first Alzheimer’s disease treatment with a broad indication that covers mild to severe Alzheimer‘s disease in China.
The approval of the additional indication was based on the results of a Phase III clinical study (Study 339) in China. Study 339 was a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel-group study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Aricept 10 mg per day in 313 Chinese patients with severe Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, Aricept demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in total Severe Impairment Battery scores after 24 weeks compared to placebo, which was the primary endpoint of the study. In the study, the four most commonly observed adverse events in the Aricept arm were bradycardia, anorexia, QT interval prolongation, and dizziness.
In China, it has been estimated that approximately 6 million people suffer from Alzheimer‘s disease. Furthermore, with the progressive aging of the population, the number of patients with dementia is expected to greatly increase in the future. Eisai launched Aricept in China in September 1999, and in collaboration with various stakeholders including government, hospitals and non-government organizations, is actively promoting dementia disease awareness initiatives for civilians as well as support for establishing memory clinics and other initiatives.
With the approval of this indication covering severe Alzheimer’s disease, Eisai strives to further contribute to increasing the quality of life of patients with Alzheimer‘s disease in China, and as the originator of Aricept, continues to make comprehensive contributions in dementia such as improving treatment and care, increasing public awareness of the disease and discovering new treatment methods.