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FP6

GENDEP — Result In Brief

Project ID: 503428
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH

Tailor-made antidepressant therapy

A large European consortium aimed to revolutionise the management of depression by performing a multidisciplinary pharmaco-genomic research study. Results will help predict which antidepressant drugs are more effective for individual patients.
Tailor-made antidepressant therapy
Depression is considered the illness of modern society, affecting one in five people at some stage of their lives. Although the response to existing antidepressant drugs is satisfactory, we lack the knowledge regarding patients’ expected response to one drug over the other.

With this in mind, the EU-funded ‘Genome-based therapeutic drugs for depression’ (Gendep) project aimed to develop a genetic test to assist doctors in choosing the right antidepressants for their patients. At the same time, it was hoped to advance understanding of the biological mechanisms responsible for an antidepressant being effective, which is important for the development of new and better treatments for depression.

Scientists performed a large-scale pharmaco-genomic study focusing on the prediction of therapeutic response to antidepressants and adverse effects. Coupled to basic research using animal models and in vitro experiments, the information generated on various markers would be used in medical bioassays for making an informed decision on which antidepressant drugs would be most efficacious.

Additionally, Gendep project partners performed functional characterisation of the molecular mechanisms involved in the effects of antidepressant treatment. Results could be exploited for the development of diagnostic assays and the identification of novel therapeutic targets.

Development of effective, targeted treatments for depression could have significant economic and health impacts across Europe, with the potential to pave the way for similar research on other common disorders. Gendep has brought tailor-made medicine according to patient’s genetic background a step closer to reality.

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