In 2019, brexanolone was introduced by Sage Therapeutics as Zulresso, a novel treatment for postpartum depression. The oral version of this novel antidepressant – SAGE 217 or zuranolone – is now finishing up its Phase 3 trials.
Like brexanolone, SAGE-217 is a neurosteroid, an analogue of allopregnanolone which is a positive allosteric modulator of the GABA-A receptor. What distinguishes SAGE-217 from brexanolone is that it has much better oral bioavailability and thus does not have to be administered intravenously. It can be taken as an oral medication, just like conventional antidepressants.
At the Center for Women’s Mental Health at MGH, we are now enrolling patients for the SKYLARK STUDY evaluating the efficacy and safety of this medication in new mothers with severe postpartum depression.