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Clinical trials start for new depression drug

10th January 2007

A new drug used to treat depression has entered phase one of clinical trials, Targacept announced today.

The pharmaceutical company said TC-2216 the new class of drug, known as NNR Therapeutics (TM), would be used to treat depression and anxiety disorders.

The trial will asses the safety and tolerability of TC-2216, using placebo-controls and testing healthy male volunteers.

"Depression is a highly debilitating illness, and millions of people who suffer with it are not gaining adequate relief from existing therapies," said the president and chief executive of Targacept, J Donald deBethizy.

He added that the results of a previous trial "not only substantiate the promise of the NNR mechanism in the treatment of depression and other mood disorders, but also further bolster our enthusiasm for the potential of TC-2216".

The World Health Organisation estimates that around 450 million people around the world have a mental health problem, and figures from mental health charity Mind show depression is experienced by 9.2 per cent of people in Britain.