Schizophrenia is characterized by a range of positive and negative symptoms, and cognitive deficits. While positive symptoms respond to current antipsychotic agents, negative symptoms and cognitive deficits are often resistant to pharmacopea. Thus research is now focused on developing third-generation antipsychotics that combine antagonism or partial agonism at dopamine D(2)-like receptors with agonism at serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptors. Such an association is anticipated to provide therapeutic benefits against a broader range of schizophrenia symptoms. Bifeprunox is one such third-generation antipsychotic agent which acts as a partial agonist at D(2)-like receptors and is an efficacious agonist at 5-HT(1A) receptors, with little interaction at 5HT(2A/2C), muscarinic or histaminergic H(1) receptors. This review summarizes the pharmacological profiles of the current antipsychotic agents and describes the rationale behind the development of third-generation antipsychotics. It also evaluates current data concerning bifeprunox in comparison with currently available antipsychotics, as well as those that are still under clinical development.