Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Posted by Hugh on April 22, 2020, at 10:58:08

Dextromethadone (REL-1017) uses a different pathway to treat depression. Rather than working on the uptake and modulation of neurotransmitters, "REL-1017 increases the number of synapses in the brain," said Traversa. As the number of synapses increases, the communication between them is increased. In preclinical studies conducted at Yale University, this activity ultimately resulted in more efficient communications among brain cells and improved cognition, as well as a rapid onset and longer-term antidepressant benefit in patients.

In a clinical trial, patients who had not been helped by one to three previous antidepressant drugs were given REL-1017 as an adjunct to their existing antidepressant. Within the first four days, a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in the patients' depression symptoms was observed. These improvements continued for the remainder of the seven-day period that patients received treatment with REL-1017. Additionally, for the seven days following treatment, patients continued to experience improvements even though they had stopped taking REL-1017.

Relmada's REL-1017 will not be the only drug that uses this pathway. J&J has a product already in use, Spravato, that uses this pathway. Their drug has shown rapid-acting and long-lasting antidepressant effect. The major difference between Spravato and Relmada's drug will be that J&J's drug uses a nasal spray as the delivery mechanism, Traversa says. This spray is administered twice per week, in a clinical setting. An observation time of two hours is required after the dose. There are also driving restrictions until the day after the treatment. These requirements are in effect because Spravato can cause sedation, blood pressure changes, and dissociative effects in some patients. "The plan for REL-1017," says Traversa, "is that it will be delivered in the form of a pill taken once a day at home."

"We believe that REL-1017, if approved, has the potential to change the way depression is treated. This will change the lives of many people," Traversa said. "We also believe that our proof-of-concept data from our Phase II trial of REL-1017 is very compelling. We are now focused on generating additional clinical data with REL-1017 and moving toward a registration program with the product expected to start at the end of this year."

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