This initiative seeks to expeditiously test and analyze novel interventions (i.e., compounds) and their molecular and/or clinical targets for treating clinical dimensions of psychopathology (e.g., anhedonia, cognitive function, social engagement) associated with traditional mood and anxiety spectrum disorders. Of particular interest are features of mood and anxiety spectrum disorders as described in the current DSM-IV-TR diagnostic entities, but not typically identified as the primary target of current clinical therapeutics. As described above, there is interest in the study of mechanisms that cut across traditional disorder categories and where relevant mechanisms and clinical targets are assessed directly rather than being inferred through assignment of a particular diagnosis. The NIMH has great interest in studies and clinical trials assessing clinical mechanism and demonstrating target engagement. The outcome of this initiative is expected to lead to enhanced understanding of specific target engagement by such novel interventions, leading to development of innovative treatment approaches for clinical dimensions of psychopathology associated with traditional mood and anxiety spectrum disorders. In this context, novel interventions (i.e., compounds) may refer either to new chemical entities (NCEs) or to compounds that are being considered for re-purposing from other indications. Testing of compounds that have been FDA-approved for other indications (re-purposing) is of interest if recent basic research discoveries suggest that the compound(s) have the potential to affect a biological mechanism contributing to mental disorders and that has previously been untested in clinical studies. Compounds acting on molecular targets that replicate those of currently marketed psychiatric pharmaceuticals are not of interest for this contract.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research and Development Contracts (N01)
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