4-Aminopyridine (INN fampridine, USAN dalfampridine) is an organic compound with the chemical formula C5H4N–NH2. The molecule is one of the three isomeric amines of pyridine. It is used primarily as a research tool, in characterizing subtypes of potassium channel, and has also been used to manage some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and is indicated for symptomatic improvement of walking in adults with several variations of the disease. It was undergoing Phase III clinical trials as of 2008, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the compound on January 22, 2010. Fampridine is also marketed as Ampyra (pronounced “am-PEER-ah,” according to the maker’s website) in the United States by Acorda Therapeutics and as Fampyra in Europe and in Canada, where the medication has been approved for use in that country by Health Canada on February 10, 2012
Acorda Therapeutics will press ahead with development of its multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy Ampyra in patients with stroke-related disability following encouraging data from mid-stage trials.
Ampyra (dalfampridine) is a potassium channel blocker approved in the US in 2010 as a treatment for improving walking in patients with MS.
Laboratory studies have previously shown the drug can improve impulse conduction in nerve fibers in which the insulating layer, or myelin, has been damaged, leading to its approval in MS.
Now, a Phase II trial involving 83 patients – who had experienced an ischaemic stroke at least six months prior to enrollment and had chronic motor deficits – indicate that Ampyra may also be of benefit in treating stroke-related disabilities.
Ampyra is being developed and commercialised by Biogen Idec under the trade name Fampyra in markets outside of the US.