Patients with bipolar disorder experience a wide range of depressive and manic symptoms. Only 2 drugs are FDA-approved to treat episodes of both mania and depression in patients with bipolar disorder, highlighting the need for treatments with proven efficacy at opposite poles of the bipolar spectrum. Cariprazine, a dopamine D3-preferring D3/D2 receptor partial agonist and serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, is approved in the US for the treatment of both bipolar depression and manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. Cariprazine has previously demonstrated broad efficacy in patients with bipolar mania, with significantly greater improvement in favor of cariprazine vs placebo (PBO) across all individual symptom domains (P<.001) measured by the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS). Additionally, cariprazine has demonstrated efficacy vs PBO in 3 phase II/III clinical studies in patients with depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (NCT01396447, NCT02670538, NCT02670551). To further assess the broad efficacy of cariprazine in patients with bipolar I disorder, we performed post hoc analyses to evaluate the range of depressive symptoms comprising the individual items of the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) in patients from the bipolar depression studies.
Data from the 3 randomized, double-blind, PBO-controlled trials in patients with bipolar depression were pooled. Least squares (LS) mean change from baseline to week 6 in MADRS individual items was assessed in the pooled cariprazine 1.5 and 3 mg/d groups vs PBO using a mixed-effects model for repeated measures in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population.
There were 1383 patients in the ITT population (placebo=460; cariprazine 1.5-3 mg/d=923). At week 6, LS mean change from baseline was significantly greater for cariprazine 1.5-3 mg/d vs PBO on 9 of 10 individual MADRS items: Apparent Sadness (-2.0 vs -1.6, P<.0001); Reported Sadness (-2.0 vs -1.6, P<.0001); Reduced Sleep (-1.6 vs -1.4, P=.0357); Reduced Appetite (-1.2 vs -1.0, P=.0001); Concentration Difficulties (-1.5 vs -1.2, P=.0002); Lassitude (-1.7 vs -1.4, P=.0003); Inability To Feel (-1.7 vs -1.5, P=.0009); Pessimistic Thoughts (-1.4 vs -1.2, P=.0054) and Suicidal Thoughts (-0.3 vs -0.2, P=.0383); differences between cariprazine and PBO on the Inner Tension item were not significant.
Significant improvement in most MADRS single items suggests broad efficacy in depressive symptoms for cariprazine 1.5-3 mg/d vs PBO in patients with bipolar depression. Coupled with broad efficacy in manic symptoms as demonstrated by significant improvement in all YMRS individual items in patients with bipolar mania or mixed episodes, cariprazine appears be effective across the range of symptoms that affect patients with bipolar disorder.
Supported by Allergan plc.