Novartis enters agreement for U.S., Canadian rights for schizophrenia treatment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. A drug maker has entered an exclusive agreement to launch an oral therapy for the acute treatment of schizophrenia in adults.

Novartis said it has entered into an agreement for exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to Fanapt (iloperidone) from Vanda Pharmaceuticals, and plans to launch the drug in the United States in early 2010. As part of the agreement with Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Novartis will have exclusive commercialization rights to the oral formulation of this medicine in the U.S. and Canada, as well as exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a long-acting injectable formulation of this medicine for these markets.

Vanda completed phase 3 clinical trials in 2006 and gained U.S. regulatory approval for this medicine in May 2009.

"Schizophrenia remains one of the most chronic and debilitating of the major psychiatric illnesses, underscoring the need for new treatment options," said Ludwig Hantson, PhD, head of Pharma North America, CEO, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. "With the launch of Fanapt in early 2010, we will broaden our presence in psychiatry and build on the heritage of Novartis in offering innovative treatments for devastating psychiatric diseases."