Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced eight-week results from a Phase II study of RG1678, its investigational first-in-class glycine reuptake inhibitor (GRI) for the treatment of schizophrenia. The data showed a clinically meaningful reduction in the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, accompanied by beneficial changes in patients' personal and social functioning. The study measured improvements in patients with predominantly negative symptoms of schizophrenia who received RG1678 in combination with second-generation antipsychotics.
“The ultimate goal in treating patients with schizophrenia is getting them back as close as possible to a normal life. Discussions with health authorities have taken place and a Phase III program is underway to confirm efficacy of RG1678.”
Schizophrenia affects approximately 24 million people worldwide and is usually diagnosed in young adults aged between 15 and 35 years. People living with schizophrenia often lose motivation and interest in social activities, become socially isolated and find it difficult to experience pleasure in everyday life. These are the so-called negative symptoms of the disease. Current schizophrenia treatments primarily address the positive symptoms of the disease, which include hallucinations and delusions, often leaving patients with continuing, uncontrolled negative symptoms.
"This new compound could be the first treatment to address the negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia, potentially enabling patients to carry out everyday tasks more effectively," said Hal Barron, M.D., head of Product Development and chief medical officer. "The ultimate goal in treating patients with schizophrenia is getting them back as close as possible to a normal life. Discussions with health authorities have taken place and a Phase III program is underway to confirm efficacy of RG1678."
The glycine reuptake inhibitor RG1678 normalizes glutamate neurotransmission by increasing synaptic levels of glycine, thereby targeting an important pathway in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. By normalizing glutamate neurotransmission in the brain, RG1678's unique mode of action could potentially have valuable therapeutic applications in other psychiatric disorders beyond schizophrenia.