Newron presents encouraging interim results for evenamide in patients with Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia

Milan, Italy, June 7, 2022, 7 am CET – Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. (“Newron”) (SIX: NWRN, XETRA: NP5), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system (CNS), today announced encouraging interim results from the first 100 patients in its world-first, international, six-week, open-label, randomized, rater-blinded, multi-centre study of evenamide as an add-on to an antipsychotic in patients with moderate to severe treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) who were not responding to current antipsychotic medication.

The results presented at the 33rd Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) Hybrid World Congress of Neuropsychopharmacology, in Taipei, Taiwan, show that the addition of evenamide (7.5/15/30mg bid) improved symptoms of psychosis in patients with chronic TRS, reflected by an approximately 12% reduction in the PANSS score, CGI-S improvement of 0.7, and CGI-C ratings indicating 77% of patients responded to the treatment. The first 100 patients were mostly treated with the 7.5 and 15 mg bid doses, as patients were initially randomized to treatment with these doses; an Independent Safety Monitoring Board reviewed the safety data from the first 50 patients completing the trial prior to allowing randomization to the 30 mg bid dose.

Ravi Anand, M.D., Newron’s Chief Medical Officer, stated: “We are excited to present the interim results of this study, which demonstrate the potential of evenamide as an add-on therapy to antipsychotics in patients with treatment resistant schizophrenia. The data presented today confirm evenamide’s potential to improve symptoms of psychosis in patients who, despite treatment with various antipsychotics, continue to experience severe symptoms of psychosis and functional disabilities. These patients represent about one third of the overall schizophrenia population and thus a significant unmet medical need. Evenamide acts through selective attenuation of an abnormal release of glutamate and synergizing with the background antipsychotic activity. The outcome of this study may change the treatment of future TRS patients when confirmed in a larger, placebo-controlled study.”

Newron expects to initiate a potentially pivotal, multinational, randomized, placebo-controlled study in patients with treatment resistant schizophrenia in the first quarter of 2023, as part of its ongoing Phase II/III development plan for evenamide.

Study 014 design

This six-week, randomized, rater-blinded study is being conducted at multiple sites in three countries. The study will include approximately 180 patients with TRS on a stable, therapeutic dose of a single antipsychotic other than clozapine. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of evenamide given orally at three fixed doses (7.5, 15 and 30 mg bid). The assessment of preliminary efficacy, based on changes from baseline in the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Clinical Global Impression - Change from baseline (CGI-C), Severity of illness (CGI-S), and Strauss-Carpenter Level of Functioning (LOF) scale, is a secondary objective.

Patients were moderately to severely ill (CGI-S of 4 to 6), with a baseline PANSS total score ≥70 and <90 and predominant positive symptoms (score of 4 or more on at least 2 core symptoms, along with a total score of at least 20 on these 4 core items plus 3 other positive symptoms), along with functional deficits (GAF ≤50). Efficacy and safety assessments were conducted at one to two-week intervals. Patients participating in the study are continuing to receive treatment with evenamide in long-term extension study 015 to determine the long-term benefits of glutamate release inhibition.


I wonder if there is a good simplified explanation of its mechanism of action anywhere.

About evenamide

Evenamide has the potential to be the first add-on therapy for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. The compound is an orally available New Chemical Entity that specifically targets voltage-gated sodium channels. Evenamide originates from Newron’s ion channel program and has a unique mechanism of action: glutamate modulation and voltage-gated sodium channel blockade. Evenamide modulates sustained repetitive firing without inducing impairment of normal neuronal excitability. It normalizes glutamate release induced by aberrant sodium channel activity. In a Phase IIa clinical study, Newron demonstrated evenamide’s evidence of efficacy in significantly improving symptoms of psychosis compared with placebo when added to two of the most commonly prescribed atypical antipsychotics in patients with chronic schizophrenia. The study also indicated that evenamide is devoid of an effect on any of the over 130 neurotransmitters, enzymes, or transporters targeted by most antipsychotics. Studies in more than 400 healthy volunteers and patients with schizophrenia have met the objective of safety on all variables.

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Is it now in clinical trials phase 2 or 3?
Looks like trials are not in USA.