Takeda has been granted approval in Switzerland for lurasidone, its once-daily antipsychotic for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia.

This is the first registration in Europe for lurasidone, which was originally developed by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharmaceutical (DSP) and is already marketed as Latuda for both schizophrenia and bipolar depression in the US and Canada by DSP's wholly-owned subsidiary Sunovion.

Lurasidone is an atypical antipsychotic which acts as an antagonist of dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2a and 5-HT7 receptors, and as a partial agonist of the 5-HT1A receptor.

Takeda licensed exclusive commercialisation rights to lurasidone in 2011 for 26 member states of the EU not including the UK and Norway, as well as Switzerland, Turkey, and Russia. The drug is in Phase III trials in Japan and has also been filed in Australia.

Lurasidone is launching into a shrinking market for atypical antipsychotics following the loss of patent protection for former blockbusters such as quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone and olanzapine.

Analysts predict however that lurasidone could still garner sales of $1 billion at peak, given that around 20% of patients are treatment-resistant on current drugs and DSP and Takeda's drug is associated with higher rates of remission and reduced risk of hospitalisation than older antipsychotics. There is also a lack of novel antipsychotics coming through the pipeline.

DSP said last month that Latuda had brought in $68 million in sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 and is expected to reach $350m for the full-year.

In addition to schizophrenia and bipolar depression, DSP is also developing lurasidone in Phase III trials as a maintenance therapy for bipolar disease and for mixed-feature major depressive disorder (MDD).