Melatonin Research at Rowett Develops Depressant Drug Line

Valdoxan® is an award winning anti-depressant drug recognised for its novel mechanism of action and few side effects. It is the only anti-depressant drug to be brought to the market in the last 10 years.

Development of the drug was based on research on melatonin receptors undertaken at the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, and funded by the Scottish Government, that provided Servier pharmaceuticals with an opportunity to develop a new line of therapeutics.

Identifying the site of a high-density melatonin receptor expression allowed the team to develop a novel cell-based bioassay system to characterise the molecular pharmacology of melatonin receptors for the first time, and provided an important source of RNA for subsequent cloning of the ovine melatonin receptor. The French Pharmaceutical company Servier used this knowledge to develop novel analogues targeted towards the melatonin receptor.

It is incredibly rewarding to realise that our basic research has helped in the discovery of a new therapeutic for humans”
Professor Peter Morgan

Valdoxan is a highly valued alternative to other anti-depressants, as recognised through the 2012 Italian Prix Gailen Innovative product award. Valdoxan is registered in 74 countries, with 3 million patients having received or receiving treatment with Valdoxan.

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