A clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PCN-101 (R-ketamine) has entered a new phase.

R-ketamine is a stereoisomer of ketamine being developed for therapeutic treatment of psychiatric disorders such as Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD).

The Phase 2a clinical trial has received the necessary regulatory and ethics approvals, and is led by Perception Neuroscience, a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies in neuropsychiatric diseases.

The trial is a double blind, placebo-controlled study in patients with TRD. Each of the 3 parallel arms will enroll 31 patients at multiple locations. Patients will receive either placebo, a 30 mg dose, or a 60 mg dose of R-ketamine intravenously.

Patients will be assessed for depressive symptomology over the subsequent 14 days using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rate Scale, or MADRS. Topline data from the study is expected to be reported at the end of 2022.

“We’re excited to take the next key step with this clinical trial to show the potential of PCN-101 for people living with TRD,” said Terence Kelly, PhD, CEO of Perception Neuroscience. “TRD impacts nearly 100 million people around the world, making up a third of patients living with depression; currently they are either undertreated or unresponsive to existing treatment options. We believe PCN-101 holds promise in helping such treatment-resistant patients, as a potential rapidly-acting antidepressant which can be administered at home.”

“We believe insight into the molecular properties of the single isomer, R-ketamine, has the potential to offer a highly differentiated profile from current treatment options,” added Florian Brand, CEO & Co-founder of atai Life Sciences. “Initiating this Phase 2 clinical study is a major step for our teams at Perception and atai and is a great achievement. We believe this work has the potential to deliver a novel option with diversified delivery capabilities that could decrease overall healthcare utilization, which may help us move toward our greater mission to improve care for patients who suffer from TRD.”

About PCN-101

Perception Neuroscience is developing PCN-101 (R-ketamine) for the treatment of Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). PCN-101 is a single isomer of ketamine and belongs to a new generation of glutamate receptor modulators with the potential for rapid acting antidepressant (RAAD) activity and anti-suicidal effects. Pharmacologically, PCN-101 is a non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. Nonclinical depression model studies in rodents suggest that R-ketamine could possess more durable and potent effects than S-ketamine despite a lower affinity to the NDMA receptor and potentially a more favorable safety and tolerability profile.