This invention describes a new way to predict response to antidepressants in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and the likelihood of developing the disease by measuring telomere length and telomerase activity.
Currently, choosing an antidepressant drug is found by trial and error. This means that unfortunately only around one-third of patients fully respond to their first antidepressant trial and only around two-thirds of patients have found full improvement after as many as four consecutive trials. There are currently very few clinical tests that can predict who is likely to respond to antidepressants. A predictive test of antidepressant efficacy could save precious time, money, and suffering. This invention identifies cell aging, as measured by telomere length and telomerase activity, as a novel biomarker for depression that can be used to predict response to antidepressant treatment.
Innovative aspects of this invention include:
This invention measures telomere length and telomerase activity via peripheral blood sampling as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of major depressive disorder (MDD). Telomere length is an indicator of “biological age” as it can reflect the number of cell divisions and exposure of the cell to various types of stress, such as oxidative stress. A team of UCSF researchers has shown that whole blood telomere length is significantly shorter in patients with MDD, as well as other chronically stressed individuals. Furthermore, low pre-antidepressant treatment telomerase activity predicted the best response to antidepressant therapy.
To develop & commercialize the technology as a prognostic and companion diagnostic test
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||9,732,386||08/15/2017||2010-069|
Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Antidepressants, Precision Medicine, Telomere, Telomerase, Cell aging, Companion Diagnostics