Will it Work? The Drug Designed to Manage Addiction

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Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) –- Alkermes Chairman & CEO Richard Pops discusses treating drug addiction and the new drugs coming down the company’s pipeline with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)


How old were you when you started in this?

I became the ceo when i was 28 years old and i'm 51 years old now and i'm just getting going.

How do you describe the company to people that don't know about central nervous system diseases?

X we are one of the companies -- we are one of the companies in the world that has decided to focus on central nervous system diseases, particularly schizophrenia and mental health.

It is difficult to develop drugs there, but we have a niche and we are exploring it now.

Tell us about some of the drugs that we know on the shelves.

Almost 2 million americans have an addiction problem, but other people have sought treatment using some of the products that you make.

I think we first gained notoriety with our long acting injectable antipsychotics.

These medicines we developed first for johnson & johnson that allowed those patients with schizophrenia to not have to worry about taking a medicine every single day.

It is very hard to take a medicine every single day, particularly when your disease makes it difficult to do so.

We pioneered these once a month injections that makes sure the patient gets the drug on time.

And that segued into a drug for addiction that we think would have been very relevant about the story of philip seymour hoffman.

How does it work echo people who are addicted to opioids have resected -- receptors in their brains that becomes specifically dependent on ingestion.

And it is not just hair when.

It is all kinds of prescription opioids.

Once you are dependent on these opioids, your life pivots on seeking them.

Our drug blocks those receptors in the brain, like a key in the lock and it keeps you from being able to get high, or overdose on the medication.

What you need with our drug is to become drug-free first.

You need to detox and then the magic of the drug is that it is given once a month as an injection.

The addict or the patient does not have to think about making a decision every day, do i use drugs or abuse drugs or take my medicine?

There is a safety net, if you will, for having the medicine -- by having the medicine on board for a month at a time.

What is the business record right now on vivitrol?

It is early.

But we stay at it so we can help patients and their families.

Each year, it it continues to grow.

Its biggest days are ahead of it.

What else have you got?

You have other potential winners.

We are really excited about a drug for depression that we just put into phase three.

We are also excited about a drug that we are about to get the final the nickel results of four schizophrenia.

I will start with the depression drug.

It is an oral tablet that is a new way of treating depression by targeting different sets of neurotransmitters in the brain than the drugs you are most commonly familiar with, like the classic ssri's. this is different.

It is had beautiful resulting clinical trials and was fast tracked by the fda.

When does that end up?

It will take a couple of years in the clinic, if we do it carefully.

And you have doing it -- when you have been doing it as long as we have, that seems like overnight.

Richard pops, thank you.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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