November 10, 2009 / 6:44 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 2-Roche has positive results for schizophrenia drug

* Early study shows good results for schizophrenia

* No effective treatment currently for negative symptoms

(Adds analyst’s comment)

ZURICH, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG ROG.VX reported positive results from a Phase II study for its RG1678 schizophrenia drug.

“The study showed that the compound improved both the negative symptoms and the personal and social functioning of patients with schizophrenia reaching statistical significance on primary and secondary endpoints,” Roche said on Tuesday.

Roche said there was currently no effective treatment for negative symptoms in schizophrenia patients, noting that around 24 million people were affected with the disorder worldwide.

Vontobel analyst Andrew Weiss noted the drug trial was in an early stage but was optimistic about its potential.

“The drug could have a potential of $1-2 billion and could be launched in 2016,” he said in a client note.

Roche’s shares were up 0.1 percent at 163 Swiss francs at 0901 GMT, in line with the DJ Stoxx European pharmaceuticals sector index .SXDP.

The study was with 320 patients who were stable on antipsychotic therapy. Roche said the drug was well tolerated at all doses tested. RG1678 is being co-developed with its Japan unit Chugai Pharmaceutical (4519.T). (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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