Moskal and his team have figured out a new way to target the NMDA receptors that maintains the positive antidepressant properties while eliminating the negative side effects.
In clinical trials administered at 12 sites across the country, a single dose of GLYX-13 resulted in significant reductions in depression symptoms among subjects who had shown little improvement with previous drugs. (Subjects had failed treatment with one or more antidepressant agents.)
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.
"While the results we are seeing with GLYX-13 are very encouraging, I believe the most important research is yet to come," Moskal said. "We have only scratched the surface of the therapeutic potential of the glutamatergic system."
|Contact: Megan Fellman|