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EU approval for Takeda’s schizophrenia drug

Latuda said to have improved side effect profile compared to other treatments
Takeda pharma building

Takeda and development partner Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma have won European approval for their schizophrenia treatment Latuda (lurasidone).

The European Commission (EC) granted marketing authorisation to the drug as a once-daily treatment for adults with schizophrenia and it will be marketed by Dainippon subsidiary Sunovion Pharmaceuticals in the UK and by Takeda subsidiaries across the rest of the EU.

Latuda has demonstrated in trials its ability to reduce the psychological symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and distorted reality.

However, the big selling point for Takeda and Dainippon is the positive side effect profile of Latuda, with the drug demonstrating low rates of both weight increase and metabolic change – two effects commonly associated with antipsychotic treatments that can lead to poor physical health and non-adherence.

This profile should allow Latuda to carve out a place in the competitive schizophrenia market, where switching medication is common due to adverse event, tolerability or effectiveness issues.

Prof Tony Hale, medical director, CNS, at Sunovion, said: “When treating schizophrenia, it's important to balance efficacy with tolerability, especially as weight gain can have such a negative impact on physical health and is a common reason why people fail to adhere to treatment.

“Additional treatment options that can provide symptom control with minimal metabolic effects would be of value to both patients and their physicians.”

Latuda has been available in the US since 2011 and Canada since 2012, where it is marketed in both regions by Dainippon through its subsidiary Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The launch of the drug has contributed to a boost in net sales for Dainippon over the past year, while Takeda's head of commercial operations for Europe and Canada Trevor Smith previously described Latuda as a potential blockbuster in an interview with PMLiVE.

Article by
Thomas Meek

1st April 2014

From: Sales

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