Acadia Pharma Parkinson's drug slows psychosis

Shares soar as pimavanserin achieves primary endpoints of phase III study.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 27, 2012 12:31PM

Doctor sitting in office with patient talking and smiling copyright Paul Bradbury, OJO Images, Getty Imagesthestreet LOGO

By Adam Feuerstein

 

Acadia Pharmaceuticals' (ACAD) experimental drug pimavanserin reduced psychotic episodes in patients with Parkinson's disease, compared to a placebo, achieving the primary endpoint of a phase III study, the company said Tuesday.

 

Shares of Acadia were up 145% to $5.64 in early Tuesday trading.

 

Acadia needs to conduct another phase III study of pimavanserin in Parkinson's patients in order to confirm Tuesday's results. Two previous late-stage studies of the drug failed to demonstrate a significant reduction in psychotic episodes.

 

Treatment with a 40 mg dose of pimavanserin resulted in a 5.79-point reduction in psychotic behavior compared to a 2.73-point reduction in patients treated with a placebo. The 3.06-point difference in the two arms of the phase III study was statistically significant.

 

Reduction in psychotic behavior focused mostly on hallucinations and delusions and was assessed using a 9-item scale adapted from the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS).

 

Pimavanserin achieved its antipsychotic effects without worsening motor function in Parkinson's patients, meeting a key secondary endpoint of the trial.

 

The pimavanserin data are "better than I expected," said Zacks analyst Jason Napodano, in a twitter post reacting to the Acadia study results. The U.S. market opportunity for pimavanserin in Parkinson's disease psychosis is $300 to $400 million, he adds.

 

 

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