Brexanolone as an injection for intravenous infusion is in clinical development for women with moderate and severe postpartum depression (PPD). PPD is a mood disorder that can
affect women after childbirth. Women with PPD experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities
for themselves or for others. After childbirth, the levels of certain hormones in a woman’s body quickly drops, leading to chemical changes in areas of the brain that regulates mood.
Current treatment of PPD with existing medications such as antidepressants do not address the underlying chemical changes, often resulting in treatment failures.
Brexanolone is an active product of the female reproductive hormone progesterone that regulates a specific neurotransmitter involved in a range of behaviours, including the stress
response. Some small studies have shown that brexanolone rapidly and significantly improves the symptoms of PPD and other hormonal mood disorders when compared to
other treatments. If licensed brexanolone would be the first PPD treatment that specifically targets the underlying disease process in PPD.
Esketamine nasal spray is being developed as a treatment that could be given to people with depression with an imminent risk of suicide. Major depressive disorder (often called depression or major depression in UK) is a serious mood disorder that can impact all aspects of daily life. Symptoms can include low mood, weight changes, lack of energy, disturbed sleep, and suicidal intentions and thoughts. The time between suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide is often very short, and so there is a need for urgent intervention and treatment.