Alkermes plc's phase III program with the antipsychotic ALKS 3831 for schizophrenia is designed to find out whether the tablet – which combines olanzapine with the firm's opioid antagonist samidorphan – can get around the weight-gain and metabolic problems that come with olanzapine by itself.
Dublin-based Alkermes launched the second of two phase III studies intended as registrational with ALKS 3831. ENLIGHTEN-2 will evaluate the weight-gain profile of ALKS 3831 in patients with schizophrenia over a six-month treatment period compared to olanzapine, sold as Zyprexa by Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, but available as a generic. Researchers hope ALKS 3831 will bring the pleasing results of olanzapine without its drawbacks. The company could not be reached.
Olanzapine "was a $4 billion-plus drug, and it was used in almost 40 percent of