Scientists at the University of Huddersfield are working on a new form of antidepressant.
The work, led by Dr Patrick McHugh, is intended to help sufferers of depression - but might also benefit neurological conditions such as chronic pain.
Dr McHugh said: “Response rates to the currently available antidepressants can be as low as 50 per cent.
“Moreover, it can take several weeks before an appropriate therapeutic response or lack of response becomes apparent, and during this period the patient suffers ongoing morbidity and increased risk of suicide.
“So there is an urgent clinical need for the development of more therapeutically effective drugs.”
The work has been accepted by the European Lead Factory (ELF), one of the world’s most advanced drug discovery research facilities, which will provide Dr McHugh, director of the University’s Centre for Biomarker Research, with compounds that could be used to develop the new form of antidepressant.
The ELF scrutinises every application and only selects the most promising.
Dr McHugh said: “They have a massive library of compounds and screen large volumes of compounds, which is incredible for the University of Huddersfield,” said Dr McHugh.