WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 4, 2007 -- An experimental new drug may prove to be new way to treat
schizophrenia, new research shows.
A study published in the advance online edition of the journal Nature
Medicine highlights the new schizophrenia drug, which doesn't have a catchy
The drug, which is being developed by the drug company Eli Lilly, is
currently called "LY2140023." That name refers to the drug's chemical
Lilly scientists tested LY2140023 on nearly 200 adults with schizophrenia in
Russian mental institutions.
The patients had been hospitalized for worsening symptoms. They were 40
years old, on average, and typically had had schizophrenia for more than 15
years, according to the study.
During the four-week study, patients either took two daily pills containing
LY2140023, a daily shot of the antipsychotic drug olanzapine, or a pill
containing no medicine (placebo).
Patients taking LY2140023 or olanzapine had a reduction in their
schizophrenia symptoms, compared to patients taking the placebo.
Overall, the new schizophrenia drug was "safe and well tolerated,"
the study states. Side effects were typically mild to moderate and included
insomnia, nausea, and headache.
In addition, patients taking LY2140023 "seemed to be more emotional than
before," write the researchers, who included Sandeep Patil, MD, PhD, who
now works for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.
LY2140023 has antipsychotic effects but works differently than other
antipsychotic drugs, targeting a brain chemical called glutamate, which has
long been suspected of playing a role in schizophrenia, note the
They call for longer, larger studies to test LY2140023 as a new
SOURCES: Patil, S. Nature Medicine; Sept. 2, 2007; advance online
edition. News release, Nature Medicine.
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