New schizophrenia drug shows promise in US clinical testing

November 22, 2019

Acute psychosis in schizophrenic patients may soon be treated with a new drug, KarXT that has reported positive results from a placebo-controlled clinical trial. Karuna Therapeutics’ new drug combines xanomeline and trospium, new compounds designed to interact with muscarinic receptors across the body.

Xanomeline was found to be very effective at treating psychosis associated with schizophrenia, but has gastrointestinal side effects whereas trospium should help counteract this without disrupting the drug’s efficacy in the brain.

In a randomised trial, some 180 schizophrenic patients experiencing acute psychosis reactions’ were determined using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) – a reduction on the PANSS scale of between five and ten points would be considered clinically meaningful. The KarXT trial reported 91% of the group effectively escalated to the highest dose and an 11.6 point mean reduction on PANSS scores compared to placebo, despite some adverse effects.

Jeffrey Lieberman, from Columbia University and a member of Karuna Therapeutics’ scientific advisory board said the encouraging trial results “could represent a game-changing therapeutic advance in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia, if approved.”

Subsequently positive outcomes with larger cohorts may see the new drug being commercially-available in as little as five years.


Category: Pharmaceuticals

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