At the 32nd Annual Meeting of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), held between 6-9th of April in Budapest, Hungary, new analyses of cariprazine studies were presented by Gedeon Richter Plc. The scientific posters provided evidence that cariprazine might be an appropriate treatment not only for early and late-stage schizophrenia, but also for the difficult-to-treat dual disorder (schizophrenia and comorbid substance use disorder), which is a major problem for psychiatrists to manage. Furthermore, on the 7th of April with the support of Professor Christoph U. Correll, a new transdiagnostic tool for quantifying, and visualizing symptom severity and functional disability of patients with different psychiatric conditions was presented. In addition, on the 8th of April, a special Gedeon Richter publication, the “Candid Book” was also presented by the authors, which contains useful, everyday solutions and suggestions for the caregivers of schizophrenia patients.

Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by positive, negative, cognitive, and mood symptoms, affecting 1% of the population. Although antipsychotics are effective in the treatment of positive symptoms, the management of negative, cognitive, and affective symptoms often remains challenging. Depressive symptoms are a common feature of schizophrenia and define major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, having devastating effects on patients’ functioning and quality of life, and increasing the risk of hospitalization and suicide.

The first Gedeon Richter poster at the 2024 EPA Congress provided evidence that cariprazine is effective in treating patients with late-stage schizophrenia (having an illness-duration of more than 15 years). Cariprazine improved overall schizophrenia symptoms, especially the negative, cognitive and anxiety/ depression symptoms that are more prevalent in this phase of the disorder.

As opposed to the first analysis, the second poster focused on the early stage of schizophrenia (having an illness duration of less than 5 years) and the impact of cariprazine in preventing relapse. According to the results, the relative risk of relapse was 81% reduced with cariprazine, meaning the prevention of one additional relapse after each third patient exposed to cariprazine vs placebo. Therefore, treatment with cariprazine in the beginning of the disorder seems to have a profound and positive effect on preventing relapses.

In the third poster, views of patients and doctors regarding predominant negative symptoms were compared during a 1-year observational study. Patients reported the greatest improvement in asociality and alogia, while doctors found apathy and anhedonia to improve the most, but both groups reported significant improvements overall. Importantly, most patients received cariprazine treatment either as mono- or polytherapy.

The fourth Gedeon Richter poster was providing information on the potential of cariprazine in dual disorder, the co-occurrence of a major psychiatric disorder and comorbid substance use disorder, which is a great challenge for psychiatrists. Based on a systematic literature search involving congress reports, posters, and case reports, evidence suggests that cariprazine is a potential candidate for the treatment of dual disorder as it improves symptoms of both disorders. Patients experienced improvement in their anxiety, mood, psychotic symptoms, along with reduction in craving and substance consumption as well.

In addition to the posters, Gedeon Richter organized two scientific sessions. The Product Theatre focused on the topic of “New treatment options for dual schizophrenia”. The session discussed partial agonists and agents targeting the D3 receptors as a promising treatment options for this patient population.

In addition to the Product Theatre, a Mini Symposium was organized on the topic of “Schizophrenia and the management of psychiatric comorbidities”, such as affective, anxiety and substance use disorders. This session gave a comprehensive overview of the clinical dilemmas associated with the co-occurrence of schizophrenia with other mental disorders and the optimal treatment options for this patient population, based on the pharmacology of antipsychotic drugs.

On the 7th of April, during a Scientific Event involving over 250 doctors, Professor Christoph U. Correll also shed light on the importance of using measurements in everyday psychiatric practice, and experts from Gedeon Richter launched a new transdiagnostic tool for quantifying, and visualizing symptom severity and functional disability of patients with different psychiatric conditions which is available online here. During the time of the conference, Richter’s Candid Book – a comprehensive summary of important topics that responds to caregivers’ needs in real life situations – was also presented to the professional audience.


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