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US launch for Novartis' Fanapt

Novartis has launched schizophrenia treatment Fanapt (iloperidone) in the US, for acute treatment of schizophrenia in adults

Following approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last May, Novartis has launched schizophrenia treatment Fanapt (iloperidone) in the US, for acute treatment of schizophrenia in adults.

Fanapt was originally developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals, but then under the license agreement from Novartis, Vanda Pharmaceuticals undertook to pursue the drug's phase III development programme and complete product registration.

Novartis has exclusive commercialisation rights to the oral formulation of Fanapt in the US and Canada under an agreement with Vanda, as well as exclusive rights to develop and commercialise a long-acting, injectable formulation of this medicine for these markets.

"Schizophrenia remains one of the most debilitating and difficult to treat mental illnesses. The launch of Fanapt is important because there is a need for alternative medications for many individuals who are suffering from this disease," said Ludwig Hantson, PhD, head of pharma North America, CEO, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

"In clinical trials, Fanapt was shown to be effective for the symptoms of schizophrenia. Fanapt also showed a low incidence of certain side effects, and the percentage of patients who discontinued treatment was similar to that of placebo."

The Washington Post states that the US market for atypical antipsychotics amounts to nearly $16bn.

Despite the severe symptoms of this disorder, as many as 74 per cent of all patients discontinue their medication before completing 18 months of treatment, according to a major National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study. In a separate trial, more than a quarter of patients changed their medications within a year, with a mean time to switching of 100 days.


 

11th January 2010

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