EU/3/09/706

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Orphan designation

On 28 January 2010, orphan designation (EU/3/09/706) was granted by the European Commission to Medesis Pharma, France, for lithium citrate tetrahydrate (in reverse-micelle formulation) for the treatment of Huntington’s disease.

What is Huntington’s disease?

Huntington’s disease is a hereditary disease that causes brain cells to die. This leads to symptoms such as involuntary jerky movements, behavioural problems and dementia (loss of intellectual function). The disease is usually first noticed between 35 and 45 years of age, and gets worse over time.

Huntington’s disease is caused by abnormalities in the gene responsible for the production of a protein called huntingtin. The gene abnormalities result in an abnormal form of the protein being produced, which causes damage to the cells in specific areas of the brain.

Huntington’s disease is a debilitating and life-threatening condition because it causes severe behavioural and mental problems, a progressive loss of