The experimental psychotropic agent lurasidone appeared effective in acute schizophrenia, according to the first phase III data on the drug.
The intermediate 80-mg dose of the novel compound significantly improved total scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) by about eight points more than placebo over six weeks of treatment in the randomized controlled trial.
However, the 40- and 120-mg per day doses did not appear better than placebo for either the primary or secondary endpoints in the trial, Antony Loebel, Ph.D., of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma America in Fort Lee, N.J., and colleagues found.
All doses appeared to be well tolerated with little impact on weight and lipids, they reported here at the American Psychiatric Association meeting.
Lurasidone is part of the pipeline of psychotropics that have been called the "me-too" medications. It has high affinity for dopamine (D2) and serotonin 5-HT2A receptors.
But Dr. Loebel highlighted its uniqueness among psychotropics in affinity for serotonin receptors implicated in the enhancement of cognition, mood, and negative symptoms (5-HT7, 5-HT1A and alpha-2c).
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