Yet another research team has pulled off a small study demonstrating the enormous potential of ketamine as a treatment for depression, highlighting again how difficult it has been to push beyond evidence of a rapid-acting treatment to develop a therapy with durable effects.
The notion that a party drug could be repurposed into a "miracle" cure for severe, treatment-resistant depression is an almost irresistible story line in the popular press. And there's no reason why it can't be recycled using results from the same small, short-duration study design that long ago attracted some of the world's largest research organizations still engaged in researching new drugs in one of the most difficult fields in R&D.
Cambridge University researchers and colleagues have identified an elegantly simple biomarker for major clinical depression in teenage boys: high levels of the stress hormone cortisol combined with behavioral symptoms.
J&J has come up empty-handed after wrapping a mid-stage study of an experimental anti-depressant. The pharma giant had in-licensed the drug from Addex Therapeutics, a Geneva-based biotech which reported that the program is being scrapped as investigators ponder possible alternative targets for ADX71149.
Researchers have been unable to determine why some depression patients respond better than others to the class of drugs that includes Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa. Now a team has uncovered a gene that may act as a biomarker for this type of patient, potentially helping to match the drug with the patient.
Scientists at the Cambridge, MA, startup Sage Therapeutics have discovered an innate mechanism that indirectly influences a key receptor linked to a number of neurologic and psychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, autism and depression.
Certain metabolites can flag patients with biopolar depression for whom intravenous doses of ketamine will work best or not at all, researchers have concluded.
A class of drugs known as glutamatergic agents may one day offer relief to the 9.1% of Americans who suffer from depression per year. These agents act on the glutamate system of the brain, one of the two major amino acid systems that aid information processing in networks of neurons.
Regulators at the FDA stamped an approval on Brintellix, a new therapy to treat major depression from Lundbeck and Takeda, just hours before the government prepared to hunker down in a partial shutdown.
A well-known anesthetic called ketamine may be the revolutionary medicine that drug developers at Johnson & Johnson and elsewhere are chasing to bring the next generation of depression drugs to patients.