AQS1301 is designed to be a once-weekly transdermal form of aripiprazole.
Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic, most commonly used in its oral formulation for the treatment of CNS disorders including schizophrenia,
bipolar I disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and irritability associated with autistic disorder. The currently approved oral formulation,
Abilify™, is one of the top three anti-psychotic agents used worldwide.
Lack of adherence to antipsychotics is a serious issue that can lead to worsening of symptoms, relapse, suicidal attempts, repeated emergency room
visits or re-hospitalization, and poor functional outcomes, particularly in schizophrenia. The rate of non-adherence to atypical antipsychotic
medications in schizophrenia has been reported to be over 40%, of which, 69% have been shown to suffer a psychotic relapse. A long-acting transdermal alternative of aripiprazole is being developed by Aequus with the intention of improving patient compliance.
A total of over 220 U.S. psychiatrists have participated in Aequus’ market research to further understand the medical need for a once-weekly transdermal
alternative to oral aripiprazole. The main findings of the market research to date have been:
- Medication adherence is a substantial problem with oral antipsychotics;
- The reversibility of the patch makes it the preferred long acting formulation in the event of a patient's adverse reaction to the drug; and
- Painful injections deter patients from switching to currently approved long-acting injectable formulations.
Bipolar I disorder is characterized by periods of severe mood episodes oscillating between mania and depression. Treatment of the disorder focuses on acute stabilization of mood and prevention of relapse. The risk of relapse in bipolar disorder has a potential compounding effect, where each additional relapse is documented to be more frequent, more severe, and increasingly more difficult to treat. Bipolar I Disorder has a 12-month prevalence of ~0.6%, affecting an estimated 1.7 million Americans in 2015. - (read more...)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by limited social interaction and communication skills, stereotyped and repetitive behaviors, and a low interest in activities or play. It is a lifelong disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood. Awareness of ASD is increasing and diagnostic criteria have been expanding; currently the 12-month prevalence is ~1.5%, affecting an estimated 3.8 million Americans in 2015. - (read more...)
Classified as a mental disorder, schizophrenia patients experience both positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include psychotic behaviours such as hallucinations and delusions that vary in severity. Negative symptoms are disruptions to normal emotions and behaviours such as lack of expression and lack of ability to begin or sustain planned activities. Treatment of schizophrenia is focused on suppressing dopamine receptor activity through anti-psychotic medication. Schizophrenia has a 12-month prevalence of ~1%, affecting an estimated 3 million Americans in 2015. - (read more...)