Patients with tardive dyskinesia were previously only looked at, not treated.
Prior to the recent US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of valbenazine (Ingrezza), there was no approved therapy for tardive dyskinesia; the patients were only looked at, not treated.
In fact, most physicians were didn’t want to potentially disrupt the treatment of any underlying psychiatric conditions. Their common recommendations were to either stop the antipsychotic medication (which if you had schizophrenia that’s not very likely) or change from one antipsychotic to another (which could be disruptive to the patient’s status).
Christopher O’Brian, Chief Medical Officer, Neurocrine Biosciences, explained that following the positive results, the main initiatives for the next two years will be surrounding education on tardive dyskinesia — not just to patients and caregivers, but to neurologists and psychiatrists to inform them of the availability of the drug. He continued that working closely with patient advocacy organizations (the Depression and Bipolar Group, The National Alliance for Mental Illness, and the Mental Health America) have been especially gratifying.
Ingrezza was first commercial product for Neurocrine Biosciences, so O’Brien and team commit to ensuring anyone in America who needs the drug would have access to it. The management committee aims to put in place patient assistance programs and support services.
O’Brien concluded that the next big project for Ingrezza is currently in phase 2 for Turret’s Syndrome, tick disorders in children. “I just finished the treatment phase (phase 2 clinical trial) in children, and I should have top line data in May, in about 3 weeks or so”