LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/15/13 -- BioLineRx engages in identifying, in-licensing, and developing therapeutic candidates. Its lead clinical therapeutic candidate under development is BL-1020, which is in Phase II/III clinical trials to improve cognitive function in schizophrenia patients. BL-1020 is an orally available, first in class GABA enhanced antipsychotic that combines dopamine antagonism with GABAergic activity.
BL-1020 is being tested against Johnson and Johnson's schizophrenia drug Risperdal, which generated worldwide sales of $24.2 billion from 2003 to 2010, reaching $4.5 billion in 2007.
According to Wikipedia: "Risperdal is the trade name for risperidone, an antipsychotic drug which is mainly used to treat schizophrenia but also used for other conditions. Due to its strong serotonin, dopaminergic, and adrenergic antagonism, risperidone was approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia. In 2007, risperidone was approved as the only drug agent available for the treatment of this disease in youths, ages 13-17. It was also approved that same day in the treatment of bipolar disorder for people ages 10-17. In 2006, the FDA approved risperidone for the treatment of irritability in children and adolescents with autism. This decision was based in part on a study of autistic people with severe problems containing violent meltdowns, aggression, and self-injury."
With all of the above indications, it is evident risperidone is an important and versatile drug.
Recently, a pair of companies finance.yahoo.com%2fnews%2fdurect-announces-positive-results-relday-123500282.html">announced they were on track in the early development with another candidate using risperidone. Earlier this month, Durect Corporation announced its licensee, Zogenix reported positive single-dose pharmacokinetic results from the Phase I clinical trial of Relday, a once-monthly subcutaneous formulation of risperidone for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Zogenix needed this bit of good news as its pain killer drug Zohydro was shot down by an FDA Advisory Committee by a vote of 11-2 against recommending the drug to the FDA for approval, causing its stock price to plummet 42% on December 10th, 2012.
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