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Major depression can make it challenging to get the most out of each day.
We are focused on developing a potential new medicine for the treatment of depression, or major depressive disorder (MDD).
The onset of depression, and the impact it has on the individual, can vary from person to person. There is not a single type of medicine that will work well for every person living with depression. That is why it is important to continue advancing new treatment options.
There are actions, such as participating in clinical trials, that individuals can take today to help with the understanding of MDD and support those living with depression. Our clinical trials are open and recruiting participants. Please visit reliancestudies.com to learn more.
MDD is a common, serious mental health condition. It can dramatically affect a person’s mood and daily life, including how that person thinks, feels and acts.
Not only can it cause emotional and physical symptoms for the person living with depression, but it can also impact family members, friends, and other loved ones.
MDD Affects >264 million people1
~7% of U.S. adults have an MDD episode annually1
65% of people with MDD do not respond to initial therapy2
REL-1017 is being studied for FDA approval (an investigational medicine) for the treatment of MDD. REL-1017 has already been studied in Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies. The Phase 1 program included two studies that evaluated the safety in individuals receiving REL-1017 at different doses3. The Phase 2 studies evaluated the safety and efficacy of REL-1017 as an add-on (adjunctive) treatment to standard antidepressants in people who have been living with depression, but still had symptoms despite their current treatment4. The data from these trials support advancement to a larger Phase 3 program, which includes trials designed to evaluate the effectiveness of REL-1017 to help the symptoms of depression in people who live with MDD.
The Reliance Clinical Research Program began following these initial clinical trials for REL-1017. You can learn more about the Reliance Clinical Research Program at reliancestudies.com.
The science behind REL-1017 represents a different approach to treating depression compared to medications that are commonly prescribed today, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Scientific research indicates that REL-1017 may work by blocking a receptor in brain cells (neurons) called the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, or NMDAR. Some NMDARs subtypes may be overactive in people with MDD and REL-1017 may regulate these receptors and thereby improve MDD.
REL-1017, or esmethadone, is one part of another drug called methadone. You may be familiar with the name methadone, which is a medication that doctors recommend for the treatment of pain, as well as substance use disorder. Methadone has two parts. One part is called levo-methadone and is a pain medication. REL-1017, or esmethadone, is the other part, which may help with depression because of its effects on the NMDARs.
To learn more, please refer to the section of our website that describes how REL-1017 is thought to work.
1) World Health Organization (WHO). (2020, January 30). Fact Sheet: Depression.
2) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (February 2019). Statistics: Major Depression.
3) Bernstein G, Davis K, Mills C, et al. Characterization of the safety and pharmacokinetic profile of d-methadone, a novel N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist in healthy, opioid-naïve subjects: Results of two Phase 1 studies
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2019;39(3):226-237.
4) Fava M, Stahl S, Pani L, et al. REL-1017 (Esmethadone) as adjunctive treatment in patients with major depressive disorder: a phase2a randomized double-blind trial.
Am J Psychiatry. 2022 Feb;179(2):122-131.
doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2021.21020197 Epub 2021 Dec 22