Datapoint: FDA Approves First Frontline NMDA Receptor Agonist for Depression
The FDA on Aug. 19 approved Axsome Therapeutics’ Auvelity for the treatment of major depressive disorder in adult patients. The N-methyl D-asparate (NMDA) receptor antagonist has potential to be groundbreaking — Auvelity can begin to take effect within a week, compared to up to eight weeks in traditional antidepressants. Evaluate Pharma estimates the drug will bring in $831 million in revenue by 2026. Auvelity is not the first NMDA receptor agonist in the depression market basket, however. Johnson & Johnson’s Spravato, a nasal spray, was approved in August 2020, though it is not a first-line therapy. For the treatment of major depressive disorder, Spravato currently holds covered or better status for 62% of lives under the pharmacy benefit, though just 3% of lives have preferred access to the drug.
SOURCE: MMIT Analytics, as of 8/24/22, and Evaluate Pharma