Vanda Pharmaceuticals has reported that Novartis Pharmaceuticals has initiated a Phase I clinical study to evaluate the safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of two long-acting injectable formulations of Fanapt (iloperidone) in patients with schizophrenia.

Under a deal agreed in 2009, Novartis has exclusive rights to long-acting injectable formulations of Fanapt in the US and Canada, while Vanda has exclusive rights in the rest of the world.

Vanda President and CEO Mihael H Polymeropoulos said that a long-acting injectable formulation could offer a new option for patients with schizophrenia who might benefit from less frequent dosing compared to an oral medication.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling mental disorder, characterised by profound disruptions in thinking that affect language, perception and the sense of self. It affects 2.4 million people in the US.