Scientists Develop Novel Approach for Treating Schizophrenia

Vanderbilt University and global pharmaceutical company—Lundbeck, are working towards developing a novel approach for treating schizophrenia, according to a new article published on January 9, 2018.

Lundbeck has exclusively licensed rights to compounds developed by the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD). These compounds act on a receptor in the brain that has been implicated in schizophrenia.

The Vanderbilt compounds are known to have antipsychotic effects in animal models, improving cognitive performance with low risk of side effects.

“Lundbeck has a strong commitment to improving the lives of patients suffering from schizophrenia and has made major investments in fundamentally improving the standard of care for these patients,” said a researcher.

“We are impressed with the research and new hypothesis created by Vanderbilt and are excited to collaborate to take this work forward,” Kim Andersen, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research at Lundbeck, said in a news release.

Schizophrenia results from excessive release of dopamine in the brain. Vanderbilt compounds have blocked the release of dopamine in animal models through the selective activation of a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. This is a novel approach for treatment of schizophrenia.

This approach is being explored as a potential treatment for behavioral disturbances in Alzheimer’s disease and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Under the two-year extendable collaboration agreement, Vanderbilt and Lundbeck will identify additional compounds and further develop existing compounds. A selected drug candidate is expected to be ready for transition into clinical development by 2020. Vanderbilt will receive an upfront payment as well as success-based milestones and royalties on global sales of products developed under the collaboration.

Increasing prevalence of neurological disorders is in turn, increasing the demand for anti-psychotic drugs, as elaborated in the anti-psychotic drugs market report published by Coherent Market Insights. This novel approach is expected to boost growth of the market for anti-psychotic drugs in the near future.

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