Lundbeck and Takeda announced that Lu AA21004, an investigational compound for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), demonstrated significant improvements in overall symptoms of depression in elderly patients. In a multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, active-reference, fixed-dose study elderly patients taking Lu AA21004 5mg/day showed a significantly greater (P=0.0011) improvement on the 24-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D24) total score versus placebo at Week 8 (mean difference to placebo of 3.3 points on the HAM-D24).

Rates of HAM-D24 response (defined as a 50% or greater drop in HAM-D24 total score from baseline) were 53.2% versus 35.2% and rates of HAM-D17 remission (defined as a HAM-D17 total score less than or equal to 7) were 29.2% versus 19.3% at endpoint which were higher for Lu AA21004 than for placebo.

LuAA21004 is a 5-HT3 and 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, 5-HT1A receptor agonist and inhibitor of the serotonin 5-HT transporters.

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