Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Applauds FDA Expert Panel Decision to Recommend Approval of New Depression Treatment

Posted: February 14, 2019

NEW YORK, (Feb. 14, 2019)The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) is pleased that our funding of both early research and ongoing studies on rapid acting antidepressants has helped lead to the development of a new medication for treatment resistant depression.

“The FDA panel’s recommendation of Esketamine as a new medication for treatment resistant depression is welcome news for people and their families who are impacted by depression,” said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, President & CEO of BBRF.

Since 1996, BBRF has awarded 90 grants totaling more than $6.5 million to fund research on rapid acting antidepressants conducted by scientists in the United States and abroad. One of these scientists is BBRF Young Investigator Carla M. Canuso, M.D, of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen R&D, whose paper, “Esketamine Reduced Suicidal Thoughts Within Hours of Treatment” published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in July 2018, was cited as one of the top 12 advances in psychiatric research from a BBRF-funded scientist in 2018. Among other scientists in the field who have received BBRF funding is Dr. Carlos A. Zarate, of the National Institutes of Mental Health, who was one of the early pioneers in the study of ketamine for the treatment of depression.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $394 million to fund more than 4,700 leading scientists around the world, which has led to over $3.9 billion in additional funding. 100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in our research grants. The Foundation’s operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants.