Metabolism takes a slow ride

Foghat reference aside, this is a pretty big deal. At the risk of glossing over the benefits of AUSTEDO, the second product approved for Huntington’s disease (yaaay), what stole the spotlight in Teva’s press release is the fact that this is the first ever approved deuterated product. Delaying drug metabolism has been an expensive problem that pharma has tried to solve for many years. In scientific-y terms, replacing a few hydrogen atoms with the heavier isotope deuterium causes a much stronger chemical bond that makes it more difficult to break down. What this means in the long run: lower doses of deuterated drugs can have the same effect as higher doses of normal meds and hopefully patients will have fewer side-effects. Hooray science!