January 20, 2011 / 8:21 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Lundbeck starts phase III Zicronapine studies

* Says starts phase III programme on anti-psychotic compound

* Study to include 160 schizophrenia patients in Europe

COPENHAGEN, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Lundbeck (LUN.CO) said it has started a clinical phase III programme on Zicronapine, a compound with the potential to treat a number of neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Lundbeck said in statement on Thursday that the phase II development programme of Zicronapine had shown strong, positive anti-psychotic effects.

The first study in the clinical phase III programme was expected to enrol about 160 schizophrenia patients in several European countries, with the aim to measure the efficacy of the compound.

After that, the programme is planned to include further phase III studies to investigate the compound’s benefit and risk profile, Lundbeck said.

“We are very pleased to be able to announce the initiation of the continued programme for Zicronapine,” said Lundbeck’s head of development, Anders Gersel Pedersen.

“With Zicronapine, we look forward to be able to offer patients and their physicians a new treatment option within an area still characterised by substantial unmet medical needs,” Pedersen said.

Lundbeck currently gets most of its revenue from antidepressant Cipralex, sold in the United States as Lexapro, but is working to develop new drugs and new sources of income to take their place once patents expire in 2012-2014. (Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Hans Peters)

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