Brexanolone: First Global Approval


Brexanolone (ZULRESSO™) is an intravenously administered, small molecule, neuroactive steroid GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator that was developed by Sage Therapeutics under license to the University of California for the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD). The formulation is a mixture of allopregnanolone, an endogenous inhibitory pregnane neurosteroid, and sulfobutylether-beta-cyclodextrin (a solubilizing agent). In mid-March 2019 brexanolone received its first global approval in the USA for the treatment of PPD in adult women. This article summarizes the milestones in the development of brexanolone leading to its first approval for the treatment of adult women with PPD.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lesley J. Scott.

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The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.

Conflict of interest

During the peer review process the manufacturer of the agent under review was offered an opportunity to comment on the article. Changes resulting from any comments received were made by the authors on the basis of scientific completeness and accuracy. Lesley Scott is a salaried employee of Adis/Springer, is responsible for the article content and declares no relevant conflicts of interest.

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This profile has been extracted and modified from the AdisInsight database. AdisInsight tracks drug development worldwide through the entire development process, from discovery, through pre-clinical and clinical studies to market launch and beyond.

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Scott, L.J. Brexanolone: First Global Approval. Drugs 79, 779–783 (2019).

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