Monday, December 10, 2012

New antidepressant acts very rapidly and is long lasting

A first-of-its-kind antidepressant drug discovered by a Northwestern University professor and now tested on adults who have failed other antidepressant therapies has been shown to alleviate symptoms within hours, have good safety and produce positive effects that last for about seven days from a single dose.

The compound, called GLYX-13, (see the structure) is the result of more than two decades of work by Joseph Moskal, research professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and director of the University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics.

"Our study showed that this compound is capable of eliciting a robust and rapid antidepressant effect without the typical side effects seen with other drugs that also modulate the NMDA receptor," said Moskal, who is founder and chief scientific officer of the Evanston-based biotechnology company Naurex Inc., which conducted the clinical study.
GLYX-13 works by modulating the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor in the brain, as do current NMDA receptor antagonists such as ketamine, but GLYX-13 does not have their serious and limiting side effects, such as hallucinations and schizophrenia-like effects. (An antagonist is a substance that inhibits the physiological action of another.)
The positive effects of GLYX-13 were evident within 24 hours and lasted an average of seven days. The effect size, a measure of the magnitude of the drug's antidepressant efficacy, at both these times after a single dose was nearly double the effect size seen with most other antidepressant drugs after four to six weeks of repeated dosing.
Side effects of GLYX-13 were mild to moderate and were consistent with those observed in subjects receiving a placebo.

GLYX-13 is a four-amino acid peptide that modulates one of a large family of glutamate receptors, the NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor, in the brain. NMDA receptors play a key role in regulating synaptic plasticity -- the quality of the connection between neurons -- and thus are important in regulating learning and memory functions.

GLYX-13 is administered intravenously. Moskal said Naurex also is working on an oral drug with similar properties and potential.

Moskal hopes that these positive GLYX-13 results and the research efforts of his team and colleagues will help shepherd in more research and grant support for studying the role of the glutamate-mediated processes in neuropsychiatric disorders...

Ref :

No comments: