New mothers will soon have access to oral treatment for postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression affects nearly 1 in 7 women who give birth in Australia each year. While it’s safe to say that every parent will go through a period of adjustment as they care for a newborn and navigate the challenges that come with a new baby in the household, for some this period can lead to feelings of depression. Despite the fact that postpartum depression is especially common in new mothers, medications are limited when it comes to treatment. Fortunately, all of that could be about to change as a drug to treat postpartum depression may soon be available orally, dramatically improving access for patients.
Thanks to the work of Monash University researchers in partnership with PureTech Health plc, an oral form of allopregnanolone has been created, with the pill having the potential to dramatically increase convenience and user-friendliness when it comes to treating depression postpartum. Currently, allopregnanolone is the only FDA-approved drug on the market, but it must be given as a 60-hour intravenous infusion to ensure it is broken down in the liver.
With the new development of this oral treatment, the drug is absorbed into the lymphatic system and directed away from the liver through the lipid absorption pathways of the human body. As Women’s program reports, “Professor Chris Porter and his team at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences developed the new drug delivery technology, ‘Glyph’, which showed that when the drug was delivered through the platform, the rates Systemic blood levels were approximately nine times greater than those of orally administered allopregnanolone, based on previous data.
The development is particularly groundbreaking and marks the first clinical validation of Glyph technology in humans. Speaking of the medical milestone, Professor Porter said: “These data show that allopregnanolone can be successfully administered orally, which is very encouraging not only for women with PPD, but also for those suffering from other neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions, including other forms of depression. , anxiety and sleep disturbances, who could benefit from an oral form of allopregnanolone.
“Because Glyph redirects drug transport through the lymphatic system, it has the potential to improve the bioavailability of orally administered drugs like allopregnanolone. Since it selectively transports therapeutic agents into the lymphatic system, it has the potential to target therapies at the immune system. We hope that LYT-300 will be the first of many applications for Glyph.
Scientists will now investigate how the substance can best be administered by exploring the dose and the effect of food on oral absorption as well. The next step in LYT-300’s multi-part program will be its evaluation of safety and tolerability over a range of doses, before then hopefully identifying a dose to move forward.