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FDA approves Vraylar in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia

The FDA has approved the supplemental New Drug Application for Vraylarfor the maintenance treatment of adults with schizophrenia…

schizophrenia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Vraylar (cariprazine) for the maintenance treatment of adults with schizophrenia. Vraylar is also approved in the U.S. in adults for the acute treatment of schizophrenia and acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder.

The goal of clinicians is to minimise relapses, which can cause significant personal distress and can often have serious implications for a patient’s health

“Schizophrenia is one of the most challenging mental health disorders to manage – particularly due to the complexity of patient symptoms, varying response to treatment and high rates of relapse,” said Dr Herbert Meltzer, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. “The goal of clinicians is to minimise relapses, which can cause significant personal distress and can often have serious implications for a patient’s health. The approval of Vraylar for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia provides an important therapy for patients and physicians who are in need of long-term treatment options.”

Without maintenance treatment, 60 – 70 percent of schizophrenia patients relapse within one year. Once a schizophrenia patient reaches the stable or maintenance phase of treatment, it is important for the physician to develop a long-term treatment management plan to minimise relapse risk, monitor, for and reduce the severity of side effects, and address residual symptoms where possible.

The efficacy of Vraylar in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia was based on an up to 72-week, multinational, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised withdrawal study in the prevention of relapse in adult patients with schizophrenia. The study included a 20-week open-label phase where patients with schizophrenia were treated with cariprazine 3, 6 or 9 mg per day. Patients who responded and met the stabilisation criteria during the open-label period were then randomised either to continue their Vraylar dose (3, 6 or 9 mg per day) or be switched to placebo for up to 72 weeks or until a relapse occurred. The primary endpoint was time to relapse during the randomised, double-blind phase.

The study demonstrated that Vraylar significantly delayed the time to relapse compared to placebo (P=0.0010). Relapse occurred in nearly twice as many placebo-treated patients (49.5%, n=49/99) as VRAYLAR-treated (29.7%, n=30/101) patients. The safety results were consistent with the profile observed to-date for VRAYLAR.1

“The differences in how people with schizophrenia respond to treatment underscores the importance of having additional treatment options,” said David Nicholson, Chief Research & Development Officer at Allergan. “We are pleased that the FDA has recognised the benefits of Vraylar for maintenance treatment of adults with schizophrenia. This approval demonstrates our continued investment in Vraylar, as well as our commitment to developing treatments that address unmet needs facing people living with mental illness.”

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