Schizophrenia Treatment Pipeline "Weak" But Has Potential

April 13, 2016

April 13, 2016.

According to a report from GBI Research, although the schizophrenia market is "replete with unmet needs and its pipeline is paltry, the overall level of innovation for schizophrenia-related indications is far higher".

Dominic Trewartha, Managing Analyst for GBI Research, explained: “While current treatments offer some relief from symptoms such as hallucinations, they have not proven as effective for cognitive dysfunction and symptoms such as the inability to feel pleasure, and there are no disease-modifying drugs currently available. A number of combinations, such as the addition of adjuvant agents to antipsychotic medication, have been trialed, but they have had little impact.”

There are 360 products in the pipeline for conditions associated with schizophrenia, 60 of which are first-in-class, equating to 21% of products with a disclosed molecular target. Overall, while the proportion of first-in-class products is still low, there are more in the pipeline for schizophrenia-related indications, particularly depressions and cognitive deficit, than there are for schizophrenia itself, and these act across a far wider range of molecular targets.

Trewartha added: “The range of innovation is relatively diverse in the pipelines for schizophrenia and related indications, with products acting on numerous novel molecular targets, including D-Amino Acid Oxidase, glutamate carboxypeptidase 2, and a number of probable G protein-coupled receptors.

“It is likely that small molecules will remain clinically and commercially the most successful molecule types across many therapy areas and indications, being particularly relevant in the central nervous system (CNS) and schizophrenia, with only limited prospects that new product approvals could change the landscape.

“Despite industry-wide trends towards a diversification in therapeutic molecule types, it is unlikely that this will be translated in CNS disorders and schizophrenia, due to the challenges of crossing the blood-brain barrier with larger and more complex molecular types.”

Frontier Pharma: Schizophrenia and Associated Indications - Small but Diverse Range of First-in-Class Molecular Targets Hold Promise for Treatment of Negative and Cognitive Symptoms