Pimavanserin Safety Data and Future Research: Clive Ballard, MD


Clive Ballard, MD, spoke on the safety data of pimavanserin, which was presented at the 2021 AAIC meeting, held from July 26-30.

“It’s brilliant across studies that pimavanserin doesn’t accelerate cognitive decline, and also similarly, most atypical antipsychotics will add 2 extrapyramidal symptoms and worsen them, and that then affects mobility and falls… again, across the pimavanserin studies, there’s no evidence of any exacerbation of extrapyramidal symptoms.”

Clive Ballard, MD, pro-vice chancellor and executive dean for medicine, professor of age related diseases, University of Exeter, spoke with NeurologyLive on safety data from the HARMONY study (NCT03325556) presented at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). Following study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the safety data outlines the efficacy of pimavanserin (Nuplazid; Acadia) in treating dementia-related psychosis (DRP) in patients with different types of dementia including Alzheimer disease, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.1,2 Ballard commented specifically on the fact that pimavanserin does not affect cognitive decline or exacerbate extrapyramidal symptoms, as is normally seen with treatment via atypical antipsychotics. 

When asked about research areas of interest within the DRP space, Ballard mentioned the potential of remote and digital assessment to foster efficient and accurate data for clinical trials. Additionally, he spoke on the development and advancement of blood-based biomarkers and new data being presented on the subject at this year’s AAIC meeting. 

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

1. Demos G, Foff EP, McEvoy B, Skoog B. Pimavanserin and concomitant antidementia medication use in patients with neurodegenerative and/or neurovascular disorders: safety outcomes from pooled clinical data and the HARMONY study. Presented at: AAIC 2021; Denver, Colorado; July 26-30. Poster 57661. 
2. Tariot P, Cummings JL, Soto-Martin ME, et al. Trial of Pimavanserin in Dementia-Related Psychosis. N Engl J Med. 2021; 385:309-319. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2034634. 
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