Clinical Trials

New bipolar depression treatment misses the mark in recent study

Jul 08, 2019

A new treatment being investigated for bipolar depression has failed to meet its main goal in a recent study. 

The drug’s developer, Intra-Cellular Therapies, released the results of the study this week which showed that patients receiving the drug, lumateperona, as a stand-alone treatment did not show a significant improvement in symptoms compared to those taking a placebo. 

The study included 554 patients and was at odds with a different global study which did show an improvement in the severity of depressive symptoms compared to a placebo. 

Lumateperona is also being investigated as an add-on therapy to traditional bipolar treatments — lithium and valproate — and if the results are positive, the company could still pursue a marketing application for the drug. 

Headquartered in New York City, Intra-Cellular specializes in central nervous system diseases. The company calls lumateperona a “first-in-class” molecule because it targets dopamine, glutamate and serotonin — three neurotransmitter pathways associated with severe mental illness. The company has also studied the drug as a treatment for schizophrenia. 

Results from the most recent bipolar study sent shares for the company falling by 14%.

Read the full Reuters report.