A randomized exploratory trial of an α-7 nicotinic receptor agonist (TC-5619) for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia

October 9, 2014

Authors: Jeffrey A Lieberman, Geoffrey Dunbar, Anthony C Segreti, Ragy R Girgis, Frances Seoane, Jessica S Beaver, Naihua Duan, David A Hosford

Journal: Neuropsychopharmacology

DOI: 10.1038/npp.2012.259

Year Published: 2013

This exploratory trial was conducted to test the effects of an alpha7 nicotinic receptor partial agonist, TC-5619, on cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms in subjects with schizophrenia. In the United States and India, 185 outpatients (18-60 years; male 69%; 46% tobacco users) with schizophrenia treated with quetiapine or risperidone monotherapy were randomized to 12 weeks of placebo (n=91) or TC-5619 (n=94; orally once daily 1 mg day 1 to week 4, 5 mg week 4 to 8, and 25 mg week 8 to 12). The primary efficacy outcome measure was the Groton Maze Learning Task (GMLT; executive function) of the CogState Schizophrenia Battery (CSB). Secondary outcome measures included: CSB composite score; Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS); Clinical Global Impression-Global Improvement (CGI-I); CGI-severity (CGI-S); and Subject Global Impression-Cognition. GMLT statistically favored TC-5619 (P=0.036) in this exploratory trial. SANS also statistically favored TC-5619 (P=0.030). No other secondary outcome measure demonstrated a drug effect in the total population; there was a statistically significant drug effect on working memory in tobacco users. The results were typically stronger in favor of TC-5619 in tobacco users and occasionally better in the United States than in India. TC-5619 was generally well tolerated with no clinically noteworthy safety findings. These results support the potential benefits of TC-5619 and alpha7 nicotinic receptor partial agonists for cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.

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