April 1, 2013 By 

A biopharmaceutical company scheduled to complete a Phase 2 study this spring for its treatment to reduce schizophrenia symptoms has raised $18.3 million in a fresh round of fundraising, according to a Form D filed with Securities and Exchange Commission.

The New York City-based company claims that because its schizophrenia treatment lacks the side effects that tend to accompany anti-psychotic drugs, it increases the likelihood that it could improve adherence, according to a company statementPoor adherence as a result of side effects such as obesity and cognitive impairment is a common reason why patients stop taking these drugs.

The new funding should help advance Intra Cellular Therapies‘ lead drug — ITI-007 — through clinical trials. The company is currently recruiting for a Phase II proof-of-efficacy trial in patients with acutely exacerbated schizophrenia, according to the website, The study seeks to compare the company’s ITI-007 with a placebo and the drug Risperidone, or Risperdal, — a widely used drug used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia.

The drug combines 5-HT2A — serotonin receptors — with dopamine receptor phosphoprotein modulation and serotonin reuptake inhibition — which acts like an antidepressant –,according to Intra Cellular’s website. It aims to produce a more personalized approach to treating schizophrenia by making it possible to select a clinical dose that can saturate 5-HT2A receptors and receive an optimal amount of dopamine receptor modulation using dose adjustments for a single drug. By optimizing the level of the dopamine receptor modulation, it hopes to reduce psychotic symptoms without incurring high levels of dopamine antagonism that cause motor disturbances and other side effects, according to the company’s website.

In a phone interview with MedCity News, Intra Cellular Therapies CFO Larry Hineline declined to discuss the milestones the company hopes to meet with the new investment beyond saying it would go towards the company and clinical trials. Lineman did say that its current investors “have remained loyal.”

In addition to schizophrenia, the therapeutic is aimed at treating bipolar disorders, treatment resistant depression, major depressive disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, behavioral disturbances in Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

Schizophrenia affects a little more than 1 percent of the US population or roughly 3.1 million.

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