Schizophrenia Breaking News: April 2011

  • Targacept's drug compound TC-5619 has shown positive effects in improving cognitive functioning and negative symptoms in a Phase 2 trial of people diagnosed with schizophrenia.  The company is actively developing plans to move forward with Astra Zeneca in bringing the drug to market.

     

    Clinically significant improvements were seen on the Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS), the Clinical Global Impression-Global Improvement (CGI-I), and Subject Global Impression-Cognition (SGI-Cog), among a battery of tests.

     

    The most frequent side effect was mild to moderate nausea.

     

    In other news:

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    Janssen launched Xeplion (paliperidone palmitate), a once-a-month long-acting injectable (LAI) in the U.K. for the treatment of schizophrenia.  It is available in dose strengths of 50, 75, 100 and 150 mg of paliperidone. It can be administered in the deltoid (arm) or gluteal (buttock) muscle after the first two deltoid initiation injections.

     

    The news report for this drug indicated that people diagnosed with schizophrenia who do not take their anti-psychotic medication as prescribed are up to five times more likely to experience a recurrence of symptoms.  It quoted research findings that nearly two thirds of people with schizophrenia are partially or fully non-adherent to their medication routines.

     

    In the U.S.: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light to paliperidone (Invega) to treat adolescents aged 12 to 17 years who are diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Efficacy of Invega was demonstrated with the dose range of 3 to 12 milligrams a day.

     

    Lastly:

     

    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp has commenced a clinical study to evaluate the long-acting injectable (LAI) version of Fanapt (Iloperidone), one of the newer schizophrenia drugs.  It is a Phase I study to determine the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of two different LAI formulations of this drug for SZ patients.

     

    Psychiatric professionals have begun to champion LAIs as the first line of defense to treat patients who refuse treatment, such as those people diagnosed with schizophrenia who have a symptom like agnosognosia.  In plain English, this is the term for the lack of insight that you have an illness.

     

    This symptom is thought to affect upwards of 50 percent of the people with SZ, which would corroborate the earlier statistics about treatment non-adherence.

     

    I'll bring you more details about this breaking news as they become available.

     

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Published On: April 12, 2011