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New Fast-Acting Antidepressant, GLYX-13, Shows Promise in Clinical Trials

New Fast-Acting Antidepressant Shows Promise in Clinical TrialsA new antidepressant medication has been found to provide fast-acting relief for individuals who failed to benefit from other antidepressant therapies.

The new drug reduced symptoms within hours, has a good safety profile and produces positive effects that last for about seven days from a single dose.

Researchers say the new medication targets brain receptors involved in learning and memory — a distinctly different approach from existing antidepressants.

Experts believe the new drug and others like it also could be helpful in treating other neurological conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease.

The results of the phase IIa clinical trial were presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in Hollywood, Fla.

The medication, a compound called GLYX-13, is the result of more than two decades of work by Joseph Moskal, Ph.D., research professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.

“Our study showed that this compound is capable of eliciting a robust and rapid antidepressant effect without the typical side effects seen with other drugs that also modulate the NMDA receptor,” said Moskal.

Currently, GLYX-13 is administered intravenously although scientists are working on an oral drug with similar properties and potential.

In clinical trials administered at 12 sites across the country, a single dose of GLYX-13 resulted in significant reductions in depression symptoms among subjects who had shown little improvement with previous drugs. (Subjects had failed treatment with one or more antidepressant agents.)

The positive effects of GLYX-13 were evident within 24 hours and lasted an average of seven days. Side effects of GLYX-13 were mild to moderate and were consistent with those observed in subjects receiving a placebo.

GLYX-13 is a partial agonist of the NMDA receptor whose antidepressant effects can last up to two weeks. It is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials by its manufacturer, Naurex.

A paper reporting some of the background scientific research that provided the foundation for the clinical development of GLYX-13 is found in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Source: Northwestern University

New Fast-Acting Antidepressant, GLYX-13, Shows Promise in Clinical Trials

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). New Fast-Acting Antidepressant, GLYX-13, Shows Promise in Clinical Trials. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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