Clinical Depression

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Approximately 1 in 6 people will suffer major depression at one point in their lives, and while there are various antidepressants on the market, many patients remain severely under-treated. 

“We know that treatment of depression and anxiety makes good sense for health and wellbeing... it makes sound economic sense too”

— Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, 13 April, 2016

Current first-line therapies take between 3 and 12 weeks to work, and it is often during this long lag-time that the most debilitating symptoms of depression occur. In addition, around 40% of patients remain clinically ill after a year of treatment, highlighting the urgent need for alternative therapies.

We have identified an innovative solution to bridge this gap by developing a rapid-acting antidepressant. 

[Ketamine is] arguably the most
important discovery in half a
— Duman and Aghajanian, Science, 2012

Our solution builds on research published in Nature by Zanos et al 2016.

SPL801B is based on an active metabolite of ketamine, which we are developing as a rapid-acting antidepressant. SPL801B has a different mode of action to ketamine, has a promising safety profile and early studies indicate a lack of dissociative and addictive side effects.