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A randomized Phase II trial evaluating efficacy, safety, and tolerability of oral BI 409306 in attenuated psychosis syndrome: Design and rationale

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Attenuated psychosis syndrome (APS), a condition for further study in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5, comprises psychotic symptoms that are qualitatively similar to those observed in schizophrenia but are less severe. Patients with APS are at high risk of converting to first-episode psychosis (FEP). As evidence for effective pharmacological interventions in APS is limited, novel treatments may provide symptomatic relief and delay/prevent psychotic conversion. This trial aims to investigate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of BI 409306, a potent and selective phosphodiesterase-9 inhibitor, versus placebo in APS. Novel biomarkers of psychosis are being investigated.


In this Phase II, multinational, double-blind, parallel-group trial, randomized (1:1) patients will receive BI 409306 50 mg or placebo twice daily for 52 weeks. Patients (n = 300) will be enrolled to determine time to remission of APS, time to FEP, change in everyday functional capacity (Schizophrenia Cognition Rating Scale), and change from baseline in Brief Assessment of Cognition composite score and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores. Potential biomarkers of psychosis under investigation include functional measures of brain activity and automated speech analyses. Safety is being assessed throughout.


This trial will determine whether BI 409306 is superior to placebo in achieving sustainable remission of APS and improvements in cognition and functional capacity. These advances may provide evidence-based treatment options for symptomatic relief in APS. Furthermore, the study will assess the effect of BI 409306 on psychotic conversion and explore the identification of patients at risk for conversion using novel biomarkers.

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