Pennsylvania Patent of the Month – June 2021

Postpartum depression is a form of depression that affects some women following giving birth to a child. Studies suggest that it is the result of rapidly declining postpartum progesterone and allopregnanolone levels. Women can also experience Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) – which can lead to severe mood swings and depression. A third disorder -postmenopausal depression – is yet another major depressive disorder than can impact women. Allopregnanolone has been suggested as a treatment option for each of these depressive disorders, but it has quite a few limitations like short half-life and limited administration methods. Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has developed an alternative treatment option involving a neurosteroid formulation.

Ganaxolone is a synthetic steroid with anti-convulsant activity. It’s been used for treatment in epilepsy and other CNS disorders. It has a long half-life – nearly 20 hours in human plasma following oral administration. Allopregnanolone has a falh-life of 45 minutes in the same conditions. Marinus Pharmaceuticals has developed a neurosteroid solution that combines ganaxolone with stabilizers and surfactants. The initial treatment is injectable, followed by oral doses. This treatment option aims to meet the needs of these major depressive disorders with fewer limitations.

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