There’s no doubt that we are living in extraordinary times. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested almost every aspect of our lives, our resilience, ability to organise and ability to adapt.
With a drastic change in our way of living, the toll on our collective mental health has been profound.
Beyond Blue estimates that over 3 million Aussies are currently living with depression. The World Health Organisation (WHO) cites depression as a leading cause of disability worldwide affecting more than 264 million people and associated with 800,000 deaths annually. And, it is arguably one of the most costly ailments, costing the global economy $1 trillion dollars per annum in lost productivity and treatment.
A peer reviewed WHO-led study concluded that every US$1 invested in scaling up treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return of US$4 in better health and ability to work. With a four fold increase, this is a worthy investment.
Australian biotech company Medlab (ASX: MDC) is working to change the course of depression treatment with their proprietary mood support medication.
The relationship between the gut and brain is a complex one that has been a trendy topic in medical research for the past few years. With this in mind, Medlab developed NRGBiotic™, a probiotic medication to support a healthy gut microbiome and enhance the effects of antidepressant medications.
NRGBiotic™ is already patented, approved and available commercially in Australia. The Company has today announced that the United States Patent Office (USPTO) has approved Medlab’s application to patent NRGBiotic™ in the US.
Clinical trials exploring the efficacy of the drug have yielded good results, meeting four of the five endpoints. The study found that patients taking both NRGBiotic™ combined with an antidepressant had greater symptom remission and greater proportional Quality of Life over the study period than those on antidepressants alone.
Dr. Sean Hall, CEO of Medlab said: “The USPTO decision to allow is welcoming news. NRG Biotic™ has both the formulation and capabilities of that formulation previously approved in Australia. Receiving this notification off the back of successful trial outcomes attests to the robust work Medlab undertakes. From a commercial aspect, NRGBiotic™ is a branded line here in Australia, and will now go to our partnering network in the Northern Hemisphere.”
The receival of the US patent will increase the commercial opportunities for NRGBiotic™ as well as Medlab’s broad pipeline of drugs.
Medlab’s lead drug candidate NanaBis™ was developed for the treatment of bone pain associated with cancer as an alternative to opioid use.
Their proprietary Nanocelle™ technology allows for optimised drug administration by bypassing first-pass metabolism and allowing for quicker absorption and bioavailability.
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