Roche's Schizophrenia Drug Fails Phase III Trials, but Is Not Yet Scrapped

Some additional information on this news release:

After 24 weeks, patients showed a lack of response to bitopertin combined with antipsychotic therapy as compared to placebo. Its safety and patient tolerance was similar to the prior Phase II trial.

Of the remaining Phase III trials left, one looks at negative symptoms and the remaining three look at poorly controlled positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

Biopertin was projected to around $2 billion in peak sales with drug approval targeted for 2015. Roche states that it is not yet abandoning the product, but with only one trial left looking at negative symptoms it seems that the blockbuster potential of bitopertin is already on the wayside.

That sure is disappointing news.

What does it mean when a drug is set for expiration? Does it mean I could no longer take Abilify? It is the only medication that works for me.

Starry, maybe it means that the drug can go generic at that time? Iā€™m really not sure about that. I hope Abilify does go generic, my son takes it as part of his cocktail of meds.

They are talking about the fact that the Patents are set for expiration on those dates - which means that at that point anyone can manufacture the drug without paying royalties or other money to the company - and at this point these generic medications become much cheaper for everyone (and much less profit for the companies that first developed them).