The 11th annual list was announced Wednesday during the Cleveland Clinic 2016 Medical Innovation Summit, held this week at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the adjacent Global Center for Health Innovation.
A team of more than 100 doctors and researchers assembled by the Clinic examined nearly 200 nominations to identify and rank the top 10 innovations. The panel doesn’t highlight brands or companies, but rather the innovation and its potential applications in healthcare.
Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression
For one third of patients with depression, medications don’t work. Alternatives include intensive treatment options, such as electroconvulsive therapy.
Initial studies of ketamine, a drug commonly used for anesthesia, indicated that 70% of patients with treatment-resistant-depression (“TRD”) saw an improvement in symptoms within 24 hours of a low-dose injection. Ketamine, also known in the 1960s as a party drug, was studied for its ability to target and inhibit the action of N-methyl-D-aspartate (“NMDA”) receptors of nerve cells.
The FDA granted Fast Track Status to the development of a new NMDA-receptor-targeting medications based on the ketamine profile. The FDA gave some, like esketamine, breakthrough status, enhancing the potential for these drugs to be available to patients in 2017.