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First FDA Approved Prescription Nasal Spray for Treatment-Resistant Depression

 

Spravato ® is the first FDA approved prescription nasal spray for adults who suffer from treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Spravato was developed by Janssen Therapeutics from technology developed from a collaboration between the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Yale University and Mount Sinai Health System.   This discovery was developed from esketamine, the S-enantiomer of ketamine, as a treatment for adults who have tried other antidepressant medicines but did not benefit from them. Spravato immediately impacts brain cells whereas common antidepressants often take several weeks. Due to Spravato’s fast acting nature, it can be used in acute crisis such as imminent risk of suicide. Spravato is administered in a clinic setting by giving three doses spaced five minutes apart and is to be used in conjunction with an oral antidepressant.

The development of Spravato resulted in the first antidepressant in 60 years that was significantly different from other drugs on the market. Common antidepressants increase levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Spravato does this as well, but also increases levels of glutamate. Glutamate is the most abundant chemical messenger in the brain and allows the Spravato to have a larger impact on more brain cells at once.

Spravato received FDA approval on March 6, 2019 and was first to market with their antidepressant nasal spray for TRD. If you are interested in learning about licensing opportunities for other NIH technologies, please click here. If you are interested in learning about licensing opportunities from NIMH, please visit here.