Patient recruiting finished for schizophrenia drug trial, treatment aims to address "negative" symptoms of disease

Biopharmaceutical company Targacept has finished recruiting enough patients for a Phase 2b study of a new schizophrenia drug.

The company hopes the treatment will become an option for those suffering from the debilitating disease, which affects about 4.7 million people worldwide. The drug, called TC-5619, is said to help control symptoms of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenics.

Dr. Stephen A. Hill, Targacept's President and Chief Executive Officer, said that current schizophrenia treatments tend to focus on what are called "positive" symptoms, like delusions, hallucinations or disrupted thinking patterns. But the Targacept drug would aim to address the "negative" symptoms, which include loss of interest in activities, lack of emotion, neglect of personal hygiene or social withdrawal.

"A new and effective treatment that addresses this medical need would be critically important for the millions of schizophrenia patients unable to function in society," Dr. Hill said in a press release.

The trial results are expected to be released at the end of the year, and the research will involve 456 patients who will receive one of two dosage levels of the drug over a period of 24 weeks.

Source: Biz Journals, WSJ

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