COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish pharmaceutical group Lundbeck and Japanese partner Takeda said on Saturday that data from clinical phase III studies with the antidepressant vortioxetine had shown significant improvement in patients' symptoms.
Lundbeck said in a statement that the trial showed safety levels consistent with previously completed studies at lower doses.
Lundbeck and Takeda submitted vortioxetine, also known as Brintellix, for regulatory approval in the United States and Europe at the end of last year.
Industry analysts at Deutsche Bank see the new drug having sales potential in excess of $1.5 billion and possibly up to $3 billion a year, although consensus forecasts for 2016 are a more modest $500 million, according to Thomson Reuters Pharma.
Lundbeck hopes the new drug will provide a new source of revenue as its existing antidepressant, Cipralex, sold as Lexapro in the United States and Japan, comes off patent protection.
(Reporting by Mette Fraende, Editing by Mark Trevelyan)