Shares of Vanda Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Fanapt (iloperidone), surged today after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sprang a surprise drug approval for Fanapt for schizophrenia late yesterday.

In afternoon trading today, the stock hit $10.00 a share, over 8 times what the stock was trading just a day earlier. It fell back to trading around $7.54 – $7.95 range at this time.

The drug has a better safety profile in clinical trials than other atypical antipsychotics, which some analysts believe will help boost prescriptions when it goes on the market this summer. Of course, the safety profile may be overly optimistic, as it was for other atypical antipsychotics before they hit the market and reality set in (e.g., use on a more diverse population).

Certainly the company could’ve chosen a better name for the drug, which sounds like something you’d do in a recipe (“… and then you fanapt the eggs into the mix…”). More drug choices for schizophrenia is a good thing, as it gives doctors another option when other options fail to make a dent (or have such adverse side effects they aren’t well-tolerated by the patient). I haven’t yet seen the clinical trials that led to the drug’s approval, but it wouldn’t matter if I had. The real test isn’t in the data provided by the clinical trials, but in real-world research that includes the medication as one of the experimental treatment choices. That’s usually when you discover how good a new medication really works, and how bad the adverse effects really are.

So we’ll wait and see… but thought the stock news was worth a mention, because it’s pretty rare for the FDA to approve a drug out of the blue, without analysts getting some forewarning that an approval is imminent.

Read the full news article about Fanapt’s approval: FDA Approves Fanapt for Treatment of Schizophrenia

 


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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 May 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). Surprise Approval of Fanapt Makes Stock Go Wild. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/05/07/surprise-approval-of-fanapt-makes-stock-go-wild/

 

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