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Pfizer, Medivation’s Dimebon Fails in Huntington’s Study

Medivation Inc. and Pfizer Inc. said their experimental drug Dimebon failed to ease Huntington’s disease symptoms and testing for the illness will end.

Study of the medicine as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease will continue, the companies said in a statement. In Huntington’s, Dimebon didn’t work better than a placebo in lessening mental decline.

Dimebon, a 28-year-old hay fever treatment, failed in a trial for Alzheimer’s disease in March 2010. Caused by a genetic defect on chromosome 4, Huntington’s has no cure and there is no way to prevent the disease from worsening, according to the National Institutes of Medicine.

“Huntington’s is a challenging disease area, and we are also disappointed,” said Steve Romano, the head of Pfizer’s medicines development group, in the statement.

Huntington’s symptoms include antisocial behavior, hallucinations, irritability, paranoia, abnormal movements and dementia.

Medivation, based in San Francisco, rose 37 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $20.48 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. Pfizer, based in New York, rose 21 cents, or 1 percent, to $20.67 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

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