Forbes Includes Maker of Nuplazid on List of Most Innovative Growth Companies

Ana de Barros, PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros, PhD |

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Acadia Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Nuplazid (pimavanserin), an oral medication to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine’s 2017 list of the “World’s Most Innovative Growth Companies.”

Forbes’ ranking is based on the ‘innovation premium’ of each company and includes only industries that invest in innovative solutions. An innovation premium, according to Forbes, is a measure of how much investors have bid up the stock price of a company above the value of its existing businesses based on expectations of future innovative results, products, services and markets.

To qualify for a place in the annual list, which comprises 100 companies, there must be at least seven years of public financial data available and a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Forbes as a leader in innovation,” Steve Davis, Acadia’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “Being named to this list is a testament to our team’s hard work and commitment to developing transformational medicines that improve the lives of patients suffering from major CNS [central nervous system] disorders. Our breakthrough antipsychotic Nuplazid is the first drug approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease psychosis. We are currently studying the drug in five additional disease states including unmet needs in Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression,” Davis said.

Nuplazid was approved in April 2016. Some of Parkinson’s disease most recognizable symptoms include tremors, limb stiffness or impaired balance. However, over the course of the disease, more than 50 percent of all patients eventually become affected with what is commonly called “Parkinson’s psychosis,” which may cause visual or hearing hallucinations (things that are not real) and/or delusions (things that are not true).

Unlike typical Parkinson’s therapies, Nuplazid has no binding affinity for dopamine receptors, so it does not interfere with dopaminergic therapy (the standard of care to address Parkinson’s motor symptoms), and it does not bind to other receptors commonly targeted by antipsychotics. The drug was associated with a significant reduction of the frequency and severity of psychotic symptoms without impairing motor function.

GlaxoSmithKline also was on the 2017 Forbes list, in 16th place. It has a large portfolio of prescription medicines and vaccines including Requip (ropinrole), approved for the treatment of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.