About Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder characterized by episodes of all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. MDD is the leading cause of disability in the United States (U.S.) for persons age 15 to 44. In 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in the prior year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.1 Treatment of MDD is characterized by a high level of patient turnover due to low efficacy and high side effects. It is estimated that 67% of patients will fail their first line therapy, 75% will then fail their second line prescription2 and 80% will then fail their third line prescription. These factors combine to create a significant opportunity for a differentiated therapeutic agent, particularly one that may act through a novel mechanism of action with few side effects.
NSI-189 as a Potential Treatment
NSI-189 is the lead compound in our neurogenic small molecule drug discovery program. It is being developed for the treatment of cognition associaetd with MDD and other psychiatric and/or cognitive impairment indications associated with hippocampal atrophy.
We believe that NSI-189 may treat MDD by promoting synaptogenesis or neurogenesis in the hippocampus. NSI-189 stimulates neurogenesis of human hippocampus derived neural stem cells in vitro and stimulates neurogenesis in young, normal, healthy mouse hippocampus in vivo. The neurogenic effect by NSI-189 is believed to have a highly specific effect in the hippocampus and subventricular zone, the two well-known neurogenic regions in adult CNS, and nowhere else in the CNS.