MSU researcher studies effects of experimental depression medication

December 2, 2009

( -- A Michigan State University researcher is leading a clinical trial on an experimental medication he hopes will give doctors another weapon in the fight against depression and prove to be more effective among patients.

Jonathan Henry, an associate professor with MSU’s Department of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, is leading the study, which focuses on the mood-enhancing effects of a drug called F2695 SR. It is hopeful the medication also will reduce common anti-depression medication side effects such as and .

The , Henry said, works to normalize chemicals in the brain, and , which have been identified as being centrally involved in maintaining normal mood functioning. It aims to help people with feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and those with a lack of energy or problems sleeping.

“While this drug works similarly to other approved drugs in its class, we are hoping it can be more effective and more tolerable to patients,” Henry said. “This also is a great opportunity to provide new medical options for patients and for them to learn more about conditions such as .”

As part of the study, which is funded by drug manufacturer Forest Laboratories, about 360 subjects between the ages of 18 and 80 will be analyzed at 20 centers across the United States. That will include eight visits over an 11-week period.

The medication is in its third phase of human trials, and manufacturers will seek approval from the approval if the trial is successful.

Henry’s clinical trial is part of a larger movement to help MSU researchers develop new drug treatments and learn more about medical conditions.

“A major goal at MSU is to develop teams of investigators from various fields who can take scientific discoveries in the lab and turn them into treatments and strategies for patients,” said Loren Friedman, director of clinical trials at MSU’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

Established in November 2008, one of the aims of the institute is to build a network for biomedical research statewide. Researchers are taking basic science advancements and testing them in clinical settings, and providing support for the statewide network of clinicians to help them develop and execute research and clinical trials.

“We have an amazing opportunity to develop new treatments through clinical research grants and sponsored clinical trials from both government and industry,” Friedman said.

Provided by Michigan State University (news : web)

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