WILMINGTON, Del., and DALLAS, Sept. 24 Depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States,affecting approximately 14.8 million adults or about 6.7 percent of thepopulation age 18 and older in a given year(1). In Texas alone, an estimated441,488 people are living with depression(2). While some effective treatmentoptions exist, only half of all patients with depression are fully treatedwith available therapies. Hence, a high need still remains for safe, effectiveand sustainable new medicines to manage this serious mental health condition.
To address this growing problem, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) today announcedthat it will collaborate with the University of Texas Southwestern MedicalCenter to accelerate scientific discovery and therapeutic advancement fordepression. Scientists from both institutions will work together, leveragingunique insights and resources to further the understanding and ultimately, thetreatment, of this illness.
"AstraZeneca is committed to delivering medicines that make a differencein patients' lives. AstraZeneca also has long-standing commitment to mentalhealth and sustained investment in research to better understand theneuroscience of depression," said Frank D. Yocca, Ph.D., Vice President, CNSand Pain Research, AstraZeneca. "This collaboration with UT Southwestern willallow our scientists and theirs to share knowledge and resources, and worktogether to explore new pathways and genetic targets for disease management."Dr. Eric J. Nestler, professor and chairman of psychiatry at UT Southwestern,will direct this effort on behalf of UT Southwestern. A leader in psychiatricresearch, Dr. Nestler and his colleagues investigate the biology of stressadaptation, resilience and depression. His molecular psychiatry laboratory hasproduced important advances in the development of new disease models that haveincreased understanding of the neurochemical basis for depression.
"This relationship is exciting as it supports our fundamental researchthat we hope can ultimately be translated into real medicines that addressunmet medical need in psychiatry," said Dr. Nestler. "This agreementrepresents collaboration in every sense of the word. Our scientists will workjointly with AstraZeneca scientists to share ideas, expertise and approacheswith the goal of advancing science and the search for new medicines."
AstraZeneca and UT Southwestern have agreed to a three-year collaboration.This is the first of several planned new alliances between AstraZeneca andleading academic institutions to address unmet medical needs through cutting-edge research across several disease areas, including Alzheimer's disease,chronic pain and psychiatric illnesses. These proposed new agreementscomplement existing US-based collaborations in neuroscience with world-classinstitutions such as Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania.
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in theresearch, development, manufacture and marketing of prescriptionpharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of theworld's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular,neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. AstraZeneca islisted in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4GoodIndex.
In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12.44 billion healthcare businesswith more than 12,000 employees. For nearly three decades, AstraZeneca hasoffered drug assistance programs side by side with its medicines, and over thepast five years, has provided over $3 billion in savings to more than 1million patients throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. AstraZeneca has beennamed one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mothermagazine and