Efficacy and Safety of Levomilnacipran Sustained Release in Moderate to Severe Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Proof-of-Concept Study

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The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.5). 04/2013; 74(4):363-9. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.12m08141
Source: PubMed


To investigate the efficacy and safety of levomilnacipran sustained release (SR), an antidepressant candidate in late-stage development, in major depressive disorder (MDD).
Between December 2006 and October 2007, a 10-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicenter, flexible-dose trial assessed once-daily levomilnacipran SR (75 mg or 100 mg) in outpatients (18-70 years) meeting DSM-IV criteria for a major depressive episode (duration ≥ 1 month) with a 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS17) score > 22 and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) score ≥ 10. Levomilnacipran SR dose was increased to 100 mg/d over 12 days. The primary efficacy measure was Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score change from baseline to week 10; secondary efficacy measures were the HDRS17, SDS, Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale, and MADRS response (≥ 50% decrease from baseline) and remission (score ≤ 10). Safety was evaluated according to adverse events, laboratory investigations, and vital signs/physical findings.
Efficacy analyses included 276 levomilnacipran SR-treated patients and 277 placebo-treated patients. Levomilnacipran SR was significantly superior to placebo on MADRS total score change from baseline to week 10 (least squares mean difference [LSMD] = -4.2 [95% CI, -5.7 to -2.6]; P < .0001). Statistical significance in favor of levomilnacipran SR was demonstrated on change from baseline to week 10 in HDRS17 total score (LSMD = -3.4 [95% CI, -4.7 to -2.2]; P < .0001) and SDS total score (LSMD = -3.4 [95% CI, -4.6 to -2.2]; P < .0001) and subscales. Significantly more levomilnacipran SR patients versus placebo patients achieved MADRS response (59.1% vs 42.2%; P < .0001) and remission (46.4% vs 26.0%; P < .0001). Levomilnacipran SR was generally safe and well tolerated; more levomilnacipran SR patients (9.4%) versus placebo patients (6.5%) discontinued due to adverse events, but more placebo patients versus levomilnacipran SR patients discontinued overall (24.9% vs 20.2%).
Levomilnacipran SR demonstrated robust efficacy on all measures and was generally well tolerated.
EudraCT number: 2006-002404-34.

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    • "Post mortem studies of AD patients and animal models of cholinergic hypofunction showed impairment of serotonin (5-HT) neuron and neurotransmitter systems [17]. On July 2013, Food and Drug Administration has approved the antidepressant drug [20] " Fetzima " , which is an extended release selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that increase the synaptic concentrations of serotonin (5-HT) by blocking reuptake of serotonin [21] [22]. However, there is lack of information about the possible molecular interactions between levomilnacipran and SERT and no X-ray crystallographic structural data are available within the Protein Data Bank to aid in the characterization of the interaction between SERT and levomilnacipran. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacological management of Major Depressive Disorder includes the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitors which targets serotonin transporters (SERT) to increase the synaptic concentrations of serotonin. Beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE-1) is responsible for amyloid β plaque formation. Hence it is an interesting target for Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapy. This study describes molecular interactions of a new Food and Drug Administration approved antidepressant drug named 'Fetzima' with BACE-1 and SERT. Fetzima is chemically known as levomilnacipran. The study has explored a possible link between the treatment of Depression and AD. 'Autodock 4.2' was used for docking study. The free energy of binding (ΔG) values for 'levomilnacipran-SERT' interaction and 'levomilnacipran-BACE1' interaction were found to be -7.47 and -8.25 kcal/mol, respectively. Levomilnacipran was found to interact with S438, known to be the most important amino acid residue of serotonin binding site of SERT during 'levomilnacipran-SERT' interaction. In the case of 'levomilnacipran-BACE1' interaction, levomilnacipran interacted with two very crucial aspartic acid residues of BACE-1, namely, D32 and D228. These residues are accountable for the cleavage of amyloid precursor protein and the subsequent formation of amyloid β plaques in AD brain. Hence, Fetzima (levomilnacipran) might act as a potent dual inhibitor of SERT and BACE-1 and expected to form the basis of a future dual therapy against depression and AD. It is an established fact that development of AD is associated with Major Depressive Disorder. Therefore, the design of new BACE-1 inhibitors based on antidepressant drug scaffolds would be particularly beneficial.
    CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders) 10/2014; 13(8):1427-1431. · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    • "The efficacy and safety of levomilnacipran ER in the treatment of MDD have been evaluated in five phase II/III studies, four of which have met the prespecified primary efficacy outcome (Asnis et al., 2013; Montgomery et al., 2013; Bakish et al., 2014; Gommoll et al., 2014; Sambunaris et al., 2014). In this post-hoc analysis, data from all five phase II and III studies (Fig. 1) have been pooled to examine the effect of levomilnacipran ER versus placebo on functional impairment as measured using the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS; Sheehan et al., 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by increased rates of impaired function and disability. During antidepressant treatment, functional improvement often lags behind symptomatic resolution, and residual impairment is associated with an increased risk for relapse. When evaluating MDD treatments, it is important to assess not only depressive symptoms but also functional outcomes. In this post-hoc analysis, data from five studies were pooled to examine the effect of levomilnacipran extended-release (ER) versus placebo on functional impairment as measured using the Sheehan Disability Scale. The mean change in the Sheehan Disability Scale total score was significantly greater for levomilnacipran ER versus placebo in the overall pooled population, for both sexes, and across all ages. Statistically significantly higher rates of functional response, functional remission, combined (functional and symptomatic) response, and combined remission were achieved with levomilnacipran ER compared with placebo in the pooled population, as well as in the male, female, younger, and middle-aged population subgroups. The levomilnacipran ER group also showed significantly improved functional outcomes versus placebo regardless of baseline depression severity. Similarly, functional impairment was significantly improved and higher functional and combined response and remission rates were achieved with levomilnacipran ER compared with placebo regardless of the baseline level of functional impairment.
    International clinical psychopharmacology 03/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.1097/YIC.0000000000000033 · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Short-term efficacy has been previously demonstrated in four randomized, double-blind studies comparing fixed [10, 11] or flexible doses [12, 13] of levomilnacipran ER to placebo. In another flexible-dose study, levomilnacipran ER improved depressive symptoms but did not achieve statistically significant separation from placebo [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Levomilnacipran (1S, 2R-milnacipran) is a potent and selective serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) reuptake inhibitor approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adults. The objective of this study was to evaluate the longer-term safety and tolerability of levomilnacipran extended-release (ER). Patients who completed double-blind treatment/down-taper in one of three lead-in levomilnacipran ER studies were eligible for this 48-week open-label extension. Safety evaluations included assessment of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), physical examinations, laboratory and vital sign measures, and suicidality, summarized using descriptive statistics for the safety population. The completion rate was 47 %; median treatment duration was 280 days. The most frequent reasons for discontinuation were withdrawal of consent (14 %) and adverse events (AEs; 13 %). TEAEs were reported by 712 (86 %) patients; most were mild/moderate and occurred early in treatment. The most common TEAEs were headache (22 %) and nausea (16 %); 36 (4 %) patients had ≥1 serious AEs. No clinically meaningful changes occurred in mean liver enzyme, metabolic, hematologic, urinalysis, or serum values; potentially clinically significant high AST or ALT values (≥3 × upper limit of normal) occurred in five patients. Vital sign changes occurred early and remained relatively stable. Mean increases for pulse rate (9.1 beats per minute [bpm]), and supine systolic (3.9 mmHg) and diastolic (3.3 mmHg) blood pressure were noted. The increase in the mean QT interval corrected using the Bazett formula (10.9 ms) was consistent with heart rate increase (12.8 bpm); there was no meaningful change in mean QT interval corrected using the Fridericia formula (-1.3 ms). Other than tachycardia and heart rate increases, ECG-related TEAEs were low (<0.5 %). No new or inconsistent safety/tolerability findings were discovered during longer-term evaluation.
    Clinical Drug Investigation 09/2013; 33(10). DOI:10.1007/s40261-013-0126-5 · 1.56 Impact Factor
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