Anavex Advances Schizophrenia Drug in Phase 2 Study

Anavex Life Sciences (Nasdaq: AVXL) has screened the first patient in its Phase 2 clinical study of ANAVEX®3-71 for the treatment of schizophrenia, ahead of schedule. ANAVEX®3-71’s differentiated mechanism is a dual SIGMAR1 receptor agonist and M1 positive allosteric modulator with agonistic effects. This novel mechanism of action offers the potential to treat all symptom domains of schizophrenia, without the side effects of standard of care antipsychotics.

Anavex’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher U Missling, PhD, commented, “Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that can impair social and occupational functions and overall quality of life for the nearly 24 million people affected worldwide.

“Following on from our positive initial Phase 1 results in healthy volunteers, our Phase 2 study will apply novel neuroinflammatory, metabolomic, and transcriptomic biomarkers at the intersection of schizophrenia pathophysiology and ANAVEX®3-71’s novel, dual mechanism of action, with the goal of addressing the large unmet need in this patient population.”

Anavex’s placebo-controlled Phase 2, two-part, in-patient trial will investigate the effects of ANAVEX®3-71 in patients with schizophrenia. It has previously demonstrated an adequate safety profile in a Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers.

Schizophrenia is a persistent mental illness that impacts how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It affects nearly 24 million people worldwide, and is characterized by three symptom domains: positive symptoms (hallucinations and delusions), negative symptoms (difficulty enjoying life and withdrawal from others), and cognitive impairment (deficits in memory, concentration, and decision-making).

People living with schizophrenia often struggle to maintain employment, live independently, and manage relationships due to limitations in currently available treatments.

About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome, schizophrenia and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain, and various types of cancer. Anavex’s lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), has successfully completed a Phase 2a and a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease, a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study in Parkinson’s disease dementia, and both a Phase 2 and a Phase 3 study in adult patients and one Phase 2/3 in pediatric patients with Rett syndrome. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting SIGMAR1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer’s disease. ANAVEX®2-73 also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective, and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research previously awarded Anavex a research grant, which fully funded a preclinical study to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. ANAVEX®3-71, which targets SIGMAR1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising clinical stage drug candidate demonstrating disease-modifying activity against the major hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid, and tau pathologies. In preclinical trials, ANAVEX®3-71 has shown beneficial effects on mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation. Further information is available at You can also connect with the Company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Share This Article


About the Author

Anavex Advances Schizophrenia Drug in Phase 2 Study

Catie Corcoran

Biotech Editor