Yesterday Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) released new data for its schizophrenia treatment Abilify that should help cement its role as one of the top atypical anti-psychotic compounds.

The data involved the drug's use in adolescents. Patients in the moderately sized 300-person study who were treated with Abilify experienced a large statistically significant reduction in schizophrenia symptoms compared to placebo and suffered no usual side effects.

Since there are no formally approved atypical anti-psychotics to treat schizophrenia in adolescents, if Bristol-Myers can expand Abilify's label to treat this patient group then it will have a good marketing edge versus the other atypical anti-psychotics.

The $16 billion anti-psychotic drug market, composed of compounds like Abilify and Eli Lilly's (NYSE:LLY) Zyprexa, is a tough and highly competitive market. What makes this market even more cutthroat is that none of the atypical anti-psychotics have proven to be vastly superior over the competition.

Abilify does have some patent issues hanging over it that may affect its future sales. (Bristol-Myers shares part of the revenue it generates from Abilify with partner Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.) But with sales growth of nearly 30% in the first quarter and Abilify accounting for over 10% of its pharmaceutical segment revenues, it is one of Bristol-Myers' most important and fastest-growing compounds. The more data that Bristol-Myers puts out about Abilify that is positive, the more on- and off-label prescriptions of the drug will grow.

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Fool contributor Brian Lawler does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Eli Lilly is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.