In what has been a busy fortnight for antipsychotics, amid new data and much discussion over their cost-effectiveness, it has been a small US firm, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, that has really got the investment community talking with its Phase III schizophrenia drug iloperidone.

The company’s shares shot up almost 70% to close at $26.15 as the US and Singapore-based firm which has headquarters in Rockville, Maryland,

published data which showed that iloperidone hit its primary endpoint in

significantly reducing symptoms compared to a placebo.

Vanda noted that it examined the genetic profiles of the 604 patients on

the trial to define who would benefit from the therapy and chief executive

Mihael Polymeropoulos said that “for the first time in the treatment of a psychiatric disease, we have applied pharmacogenetic tools to identify patients best suited for a specific drug therapy.”

The company added that “the success of this trial moves us one step closer

to our New Drug Application filing,” which is expected to happen near the

end of next year. Vanda acquired rights to the drug from Novartis, which

in turn licensed it from Titan Pharmaceuticals.

The share price leap once again highlighted the interest investors take in

the highly-profitable world of antipsychotics.