Future Psych Meds: The TRIs

Why shouldn’t someone enduring an emotional/mental health disorder hope for a miracle drug? Or at the very least, a medicine that doesn’t spew side effects.

Medicines for the emotional/mental health disorders often take a beating. Part of it’s Big Pharma’s fault – the hype and all. But the most notorious culprit is the reality that we simply don’t know enough about the workings of the brain and body.

So, yes, medicating the emotional/mental health disorders is often a crap-shoot. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for something that will “make it all better.”

Euthymics Bioscience / TRIs /EB-1010

Euthymics Bioscience (EB), Cambridge, MA, has chosen a creative and hopeful path. Interestingly enough, they call themselves a neuroscience-focused, clinical-stage drug development company.

What’s different about EB is the fact that they’re developing only one class of drugs – Serotonin-Preferring Triple Reuptake Inhibitors (TRIs).

The neurotransmitter serotonin is the primary focus; however, neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine receive attention, as well. All three are addressed with specific ratios.

EBs star-player is a drug called EB-1010, designed to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). And, yes, if approved by the FDA it’ll have one of those catchy drug names.

EB-1010 Target Market

What’s the target market for EB-1010? Those enduring MDD for whom the SSRIs just don’t cut it. By the way, it’s believed 2/3 of those enduring MDD don’t respond well to the SSRIs.

We’ve talked plenty on chipur about the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), etc. We learned they influence serotonin only.

There are also dual reuptake inhibitors that target serotonin and norepinephrine. These are the SNRIs – duloxetine (Cymbalta), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), etc. And there’s the dopamine norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), bupropion (Wellbutrin/Zyban).

Click here for the second article in my Antidepressant Need-to-Know Series. It’s all about the SSRIs, SNRIs, and the NDRI.

If approved, we’ll have a medicine that will up the ante by uniquely influencing three neurotransmitters. But there’s more. It’s specifically designed to address non-compliance issues.

Let’s take a look at some facts…

  • Up to 70% of those taking antidepressants are non-compliant due to missed doses or premature discontinuation.
  • Non-compliance correlates with side effects.
  • 20% of those taking SSRIs experience weight gain.
  • 60% of those taking SSRIs and SNRIs report sexual dysfunction.
  • Up to 35% of those actually responding well to an SSRI report some degree of cognitive impairment – inattentiveness, apathy, forgetfulness, word-finding issues, overall mental slowing.

EB-1010? Soon beginning an FDA approval Phase II/III trial, it’s done well in terms of safety, efficacy, and tolerability. It seems to have a bit of a weight-loss profile, doesn’t appear to generate sexual dysfunction, and cognitive functioning may actually be improved.

So far, so good. At least it seems as though EB has learned from the past and is working their project intelligently.

Oh, EB has a second drug, EB-1020, in the research stage for adult ADHD and neuropathic pain.

Be Sure to Come Back Tomorrow

I have what I’ll call a Part 2 ready to go for tomorrow. We’re going to talk about other medicines in development for the emotional/mental health disorders. And we’ll review the FDA drug approval process.

You won’t want to miss it.