Ketamine Metabolites for the Treatment of Depression and Pain

There continues to be a need for therapeutics for treating pain and depression that have efficacy in a high percentage of patients yet also have reduced anesthetic properties and abuse liability. 

Ketamine, a drug currently used in human anesthesia and veterinary medicine, has been shown in clinical studies to be effective in the treatment of several conditions, including treatment-resistant bipolar depression, major depressive disorder, neuropathic pain, and chronic pain, including complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).  However the routine use of the drug is hindered by unwanted central nervous system (CNS) effects and a patient response rate of -70%.  New data suggests that ketamine metabolites can be used with similar results but with an increase in patient response rates and a decrease in undesirable side effects.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:

Treatment of pain and depression.

  • Bypasses the human metabolic machinery needed to convert the drug into its active metabolite(s), therefore allowing increased number of patients to respond and be treated.
  • Decreased CNS side effects.

Development Stage:
Discovery (Lead Identification)

Related Invention(s):


Carlos Zarate (NIMH)  ➽ more inventions...

Irving Wainer (NIA)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US provisional Application No. 61/547,336

Moaddel R, et al. A parallel chiral-achiral liquid chromatographic method for the determination of the stereoisomers of ketamine and ketamine metabolites in the plasma and urine of patients with complex regional pain syndromeE PMID 20875593

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing only

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-092-2011
Updated: Apr 17, 2018