Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited disease, characterized by the wasting away of certain nerve cells in the brain. If a person inherits only one mutated copy of the Huntingtin gene they develop the disease. One who is born with the defective gene responsible for the disease may not show any of the symptoms until middle age. Symptoms could consist of balance issues, uncontrolled movements or clumsiness. In the progression of the disease one may also loose the capability to talk or even walk.

Medivation, Inc. and Pfizer Inc. have publicized that the start of phase three trials in the usage of the drug Dimebon in patients with HD and its ability to improve cognition. Dimebon (latrepiridine), is an exploratory drug in the third phase of developmental treatment of HD patients. The drug shows the ability to prevent damage to brain cells, enhance cell survival through the stabilization and improvement of mitochondrial function. The drug has been given Orphan status by the Food and Drug Administration. Orphan status just allows companies like Pfizer and Medivation to have exclusive marketing rights in the United States if the drug is approved by the FDA as a viable treatment for HD.