Vanderbilt and Lundbeck Collaborate to Develop Novel Treatment for Schizophrenia

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Vanderbilt University collaborated with Lundbeck, a global pharmaceutical company based in Denmark to develop a novel approach for treating schizophrenia.

As a part of collaboration, Lundbeck has exclusively licensed rights to compounds developed by the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD) that act on a receptor in the brain that has been implicated in schizophrenia. The Vanderbilt compounds have been shown in animal models to have antipsychotic-like effects and to improve cognitive performance with low risk of side effects. The drug was developed with the support of the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and with the support of The William K. Warren Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Schizophrenia is thought to result from the excessive release of the chemical messenger dopamine in the brain. The Vanderbilt compounds have been shown in animal models to block dopamine release in several key brain regions through the selective activation of a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. “Huge unmet medical needs remain within schizophrenia, a debilitating and potentially life threatening disease, and we are hopeful that this may enable us to provide a new treatment that could improve the life of many patients,” Andersen said. “This collaboration will speed development of a new class of potentially promising treatments for schizophrenia’s cognitive deficits and negative symptoms, which go largely unaddressed by existing medications,” added NIMH Director Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD.

Under the two-year extendable collaboration agreement, Vanderbilt and Lundbeck will identify additional compounds and further develop existing compounds. According to Anti-Psychotic Drugs Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, anti-psychotic drugs are a specific type of medication that are majorly used for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. New developed drug 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.

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