A drug approved two years ago in the United States to treat schizophrenia is undergoing review in Europe, the final step before doctors there can prescribe it some 5 million patients suffering from the disorder.
Manufactured by Danish firm H. Lundbeck A/S and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in Tokyo, brexpiprazole has shown promise during clinical trials of 3,000 patients in treating the disease, which causes hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis, according to a press release. The medication is marketed under the brand name Rexulti.
The oral medication, which the European Medicines Agency should finish evaluating by mid-2018, is thought to act upon brain receptors for serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, although both companies said the precise way it works is still being investigated. So far, results from two clinical trials, one lasting a year, have proven effective.
Lundbeck concentrates on manufacturing medicines to treat psychological and related conditions, whereas Otsuka creates treatments for cancer, cardiovascular and other disorders, in addition to drugs for mental health.
Europe to evaluate antipsychotic drug for approval