Schizophrenia Awareness Day, marked on 25 July, is a national observance that aims to raise awareness about this mental illness. Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to function, such as thinking and feeling. According to GlobalData’s Epidemiology and Market Size database, epidemiologists estimate there are more than 21 million prevalent cases within the tracked 16 countries. Recent studies have also discovered that schizophrenia is the second biggest risk factor of mortality from Covid-19.
For the last five years (2017 to 2021), there has been a steady increase in the total number of schizophrenia clinical trials by trial start year, apart from 2020, a decrease that may be due to the focus on Covid-19 relief. Last year saw the most with 167 trials. This trend could indicate more research and development (R&D) expenditure on the disease.
A total of 127 planned schizophrenia trials are upcoming, with Cerevel Therapeutics and Newron Pharmaceuticals being the sponsors with the most planned schizophrenia clinical trials (five). The other top sponsors can be seen in Figure 1.
Cerevel Therapeutics, a US-based biopharmaceutical company, will continue trials using its primary schizophrenia drug candidate, emraclidine. The drug candidate acts by targeting muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M4 and is a positive allosteric modulator (PAM). It is administered through the oral route. Cerevel Therapeutics has two Phase II/III trials and three Phase III trials planned.
Newron Pharmaceuticals, an Italian biopharmaceutical company, will test evenamide, an orally administered drug candidate that acts by targeting voltage-gated sodium channels including Nav 1.3, 1.7, and 1.8. As with Cerevel Therapeutics, Newron Pharmaceuticals has two Phase II/III trials and three Phase III trials planned.