A new treatment trial for people with depression but who have been unresponsive to existing drugs will start later in 2018.
The trial is being led by a group of UK scientist who are investigating the link between immune system and brain disorders.
Professor Ed Bullmore, director of research at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and who is leading the consortium, said: “There is irrefutable evidence now to suggest that depression is associated with increased levels of inflammatory proteins in the blood. Traditional treatments – such as anti-depressants and counselling – only work for a third of sufferers, research has shown.
“Our consortium is taking a radically innovative approach, focusing on drug targets in the immune system rather than the nervous system. We have an excellent team of academic and industry experts assembled to address the challenges.”
The partners in the Neuroimmunology Consortium (NIMA Wellcome Trust Consortium for the Neuroimmunology of Mood Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease) include Cardiff University, University of Southampton, King’s College London, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, University of Oxford, Pfizer, University of Glasgow, University of Sussex and Lundbeck.
Professor Bullmore, who is also head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, was interviewed about the new trial for BBC Look East on Thursday 18 January.
He told Look East reporter Richard Westcott: “There hasn’t been a major advance in the treatment of depression for about 20 years, yet it is extremely common and a lot of people don’t respond completely to the existing treatments, so we do need to make progress.”
To watch the interview with Professor Bullmore click here (7 mins in)
To register your interest in the trial click here or call 01223 465220.