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REGIONAL ROUNDUP

Human Testing Starts on Parkinson's Drug

August 13, 1996

Amgen Inc., the Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology giant, said Monday that it has begun the first human tests of its experimental drug GDNF that is designed to treat Parkinson's disease.

The drug will be tested at various Parkinson's disease treatment centers in North America, and the test will last 12 to 15 months.

Experimental drugs typically go through three test phases on people before they can be approved for sale, and the first phase primarily tests whether the drug is safe.

About 1 million Americans have Parkinson's disease, and while most patients live 10 to 15 years after being stricken with the disease, they typically suffer progressively more serious motor defects.

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