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Expert Interview

Slingshot members are talking to an expert! The topic is:

Edison will be hosting a call to discuss new CNS drugs including esketamine, SAGE-547, and SAGE-217.

Ticker(s): SAGE, AGN, JNJ

Who's the expert?

Name: Dr Michael Thase - MD

Institution: Private Practice & UPenn

  • Professor of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Leading figure in the pharmacotherapy of mood disorders. Research focuses on the assessment and treatment of mood disorders, including studies of the differential therapeutics of both depression and bipolar affective disorder.
  • Has authored or co-authored more than 500 scientific articles and book chapters, as well as 15 books.

Interview Questions

Please describe your background and clinical practice. How do you currently treat patients with MDD and PPD?

Added By: joe_mccann

What is the potential for esketamine in patients with Major Depressive Disorder.

Added By: joe_mccann

How many post-partum depression patients would be severe enough to be willing to sit through a 60 hour infusion of SAGE-547?

Added By: joe_mccann

Do you think SAGE-217 will have a different profile than classes of drugs with a similar mechanism, such as benzodiazepines.

Added By: joe_mccann

What are the  chemical or pharmacokinetic differences between SAGE-547 and other synthetic formulations of allopregnanolone (e.g. ganoxolone)?  Would these differences be expected to have any clinical impact?

Added By: festina_lente

Among the rapid acting antidepressant candidates in late stage clinical trials, can you summarize the clinical data comparing ketamine and derivatives like esketamine to glutamate NR2B modulators such as GLYX-13?  Which group might be expected to have greater safety, efficacy, favorable pharmacokinetic properties or clinical utility?

Added By: festina_lente

Do you expect that the advantages of SAGE 217 over SAGE 547 and ganoxolone publicized in pre-clinical studies (rodent plasma to brain ratio, potency of GABA modulation, less off target activity) will manifest in any difference in clinical efficacy/safety? In other words, assuming eventual regulatory approval for this class of drugs, in your opinion, how likely are clinicians to choose SAGE 217 over SAGE 547 or ganoxolone (in psychiatric indications)?

Added By: festina_lente

Given the linkages between postpartum depression and bipolar disorder, would you expect that the neurosteroid antidepressants would also have efficacy in bipolar depression? 

Added By: festina_lente

Can you comment on your opinion of the psychomimetic side effect profile of esketamine?  It seems mechanistically unlikely that an enantiomer of ketamine would not have at least some of the psychomimetic and dissociative qualities of racemic ketamine.  In other antidepressants, enantiomeric formulations have been criticized as being "me-too" drugs, introduced as patent life extenders rather than novel clinical formulations. 

Added By: festina_lente

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