Clinical Trials

Circular Genomics shares study results predicting patient response to SSRI treatment

US RNA biomarker company Circular Genomics has announced study results highlighting the company’s first blood assay to predict a patient’s response to SSRI sertraline, with potential for SSRI class prediction overall. The assay is based on identifying brain-enriched circular RNA (circRNA) biomarkers.
Results come from the EMBARC study, which found around 80% higher baseline blood levels of circRNAx in patients who didn’t respond to sertraline, compared to those who did. However, statistically significant increases of circRNAx levels were obser ved eight weeks after sertraline treatment in patients who later achieved remission: this highlights circRNAx’s responsiveness to SSRI treatment, as well as its dynamic expression profile that can be used for disease monitoring and prediction of long-term recovery.
Nikolaos Mellios MD PhD, co-founder and CSO of Circular Genomics, said, “Our data provides evidence that blood levels of a brain-enriched circRNA associated with known mechanisms of antidepressant response can accurately predict response to SSRIs and remission in patients with major depressive disorder. These findings reinforce our belief that the expression of specific circRNAs in the blood can act as an indirect ‘window into the brain’ and provide actionable insights for the better diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders.”
Paul Sargeant PhD, CEO of Circular Genomics, added: “The results seen in the EMBARC study reinforce the predictive power of this brain-enriched circRNA and its ability to distinguish patients most likely to respond to SSRIs using a robust blood-based biomarker. Current depression treatment protocols employ a ‘trial and error’ approach to finding the right treatment. We aim to streamline this process by providing accurate personalised treatment guidance to help patients suffering with depression. We look forward to introducing the first circRNA-based assay for prediction of response to antidepressant treatment later this year.”