Christoph Correll, MD: New Paliperidone Palmitate Data for Schizophrenia

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New 3-year analysis shows a significant rate of patients were able to avoid relapse or hospitalization while receiving the long-acting injectable.

New data from Janssen this weekend showed a 6-monthly regimen of long-acting injectable (LAI) paliperidone palmitate (INVEGA HAFYERA) was associated with an approximate 96% rate of relapse-free incidence among selected patients with schizophrenia through 3 years of assessment.

The analysis, which included patients treated who experienced no relapse from the LAI regimen during an initial 12-month, double-blind clinical trial, was supplemented by a pair of other new posters from Janssen showing paliperidone palmitate’s efficacy in reduced schizophrenia relapses and hospitalizations, as well as consistent safety, and capability to de-escalate patients from 12 or 4 annual injections, to just 2.

In an interview with HCPLive regarding the new data, Christoph Correll, MD, medical director of the Recognition and Prevention Program in the department of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital, discussed the growing supportive—and now long-term—evidence of the LAI’s sustained efficacy and safety in patients with schizophrenia.

“We’ve done multiple meta-analyses showing that long-acting injectable treatments are superior to oral treatments…there is a significantly lowered risk of relapse and hospitalization in each patient,” Correll said. “Another recent meta-analysis showed that second-generation long-acting injectables actually prolong life—meaning people are less likely to commit suicide or have either natural or unnatural cause-related mortality rates.”

Correll additionally highlighted research suggesting patients positively treated with paliperidone palmitate are more likely to maintain their overall psychiatric care regimen.

“We’ve also been able to show if they’re more stable on an antipsychotic treatment…they’ll also be more adherent to other treatments—either psychosocial or other pharmacologic treatments, like antidepressants,” Correll said.

Regarding the utility of LAIs in modern schizophrenia care, Correll advocated for increased options—especially for a patient population that is “in for the long haul.”

“It’s a lifelong disease, and we know that the illness trajectory is altered adversely when people have more relapses,” Correll said. “So to prevent relapses after the acute response is our main goal, and having relapses is the main stumbling block on the road to recovery.”

Lastly, Correll addressed the quality-of-life metrics that may be positively impacted by successful disease management with an LAI versus a daily oral medication.

“Being able to go to a clinic, have your injection and return 1, 3, or 6 months later really frees up both the mental capacity and social capacity,” he said. “There’s less of a stigma...that’s all taken out of the equation when the medication is assuredly given.”

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