Patients who had been hampered by depression and out of work for years were able to return to work within weeks of treatment, patients whose anxiety made it nearly impossible to leave the house were able to go on vacations that required travel, and young people who were driven to cutting themselves by underlying stress and self-loathing were able to stop cutting themselves. California Center for Ketamine Therapy – Ketamine Clinic has some nice tips on this.
Perspectives for the Future
The FDA’s approval of ketamine for depression is contingent on the completion of multiphase clinical trials, which are unlikely to occur. Clinical trials are normally paid for by pharmaceutical firms, and a decades-old generic medicine cannot be profitable. “You can get a few years of exclusivity for a new use, but you usually need more than a few years to recoup the research and development costs of bringing a drug to market,” says Michael Thase, a psychiatry professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has consulted for ketamine-like drug companies.
Instead, corporations are investing millions of dollars in the development of identical, patented medications. According to Bloomberg Business, Janssen is seeking FDA approval for a nasal spray containing esketamine, a 20 percent more powerful variant of the ketamine molecule. In a few years, the spray could be available. Cerecor, based in Baltimore, is working on a tablet that mimics the effects of ketamine. The company filed for an IPO in June, with a goal of raising $31.6 million. In July, pharmaceutical giant Allergan paid $560 million for Naurex, an Illinois-based biopharmaceutical business whose key medicines are rapastinel and NRX-1074, two clinical-stage ketamine-like medications. Both are intended to act on the same receptor as ketamine, relieving depression without causing hallucinations.
Rather than replacing it, NeuroRx is attempting to collaborate with it. They claim that Cyclurad can prolong the effects of Ketamine when used to treat acute depression. “In this context, the study [of Cyclurad] represents an important addition to the emerging literature on maintaining clinical response after an initial Ketamine treatment… D-cycloserine has several advantages,” wrote Prof. Dan V. Iosifescu of the Icahn School of Medicine in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. It can be taken orally and has been shown to be safe and tolerable in long-term use.”
Bipolar depression is the primary cause of disability. Bipolar Depression affects more than three million people in the United States today. Every day, 500 persons with this disease sadly take their own lives. Patients with bipolar depression are considerably more prone than those with other types of depression to commit suicide. At some point in their lives, between 25% and 50% of people will attempt suicide. Patients with treatment-resistant depression cost the healthcare system more than $120 billion per year in total.