New Depression Medication by UThealth

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are conducting a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of a new medication intended to treat major depressive disorder in patients who have failed therapy with other antidepressants.

Study principal investigator as well as professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UTHealth Medical School, Jair Soares, M.D., said that the drug is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb; identified as BMS-820836, the drug is said to impact the brain’s neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

Co-director of the UT Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders, Soares, said: “Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are all important in the chemical imbalance in the brain that can lead to depression. Since not all patients respond to current medications, it’s very important for us to study new drugs. This is part of our commitment to innovation by offering patients access to cutting-edge research.”

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 121 million people worldwide are afflicted with depression, which is a leading cause of disability. Nearly 20-30% patients might not even respond to the first antidepressant administered.

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