Schering-Plough buoyed by asenapine data

Researchers say that Organon's asenapine was just as effective in controlling episodes of acute mania in two late-stage trials as Eli Lilly's Zyprexa--a drug widely considered the gold standard for this indication. Organon is a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel which is being acquired by a resurgent Schering-Plough. Asenapine is widely viewed as one of Organon's brightest drug prospects and a key reason why Schering-Plough agreed to pay $15.6 billion for the company. The data from the two Phase III clinical studies were presented this week at the 20th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress. Questions have been raised about asenapine's potential ever since Pfizer bailed out of a collaboration on the therapy after a trial failed to establish its superiority to approved therapeutics.

"The complex nature of bipolar disorders suggests that we should have many treatment options available to physicians and patients," said Roger S. McIntyre, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto. "As such, a new therapy that provides efficacy while also providing improved tolerability is critical in helping fill this unmet need."

- here's the release on the Phase III data

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