Hemispheric University

Universidad Andrés Bello

Research Project Title

Antidepressants that act on astrocytes 

Research Project Description

A therapy for treating depression and anxiety based on a new action mechanism which is potentially effective on patients who are resistant to current therapies. This technology is based on small molecules that modify astrocytes in order to control the release of gliotransmitters. Laboratory experiments conducted on animals show that these molecules act rapidly, without intervening in the normal processes of synapses, reducing the possibility of side effects. 

Potential impact of the use of the technology

The use of this technology enables the development of new treatments for depression and anxiety. 

– It acts fast, in comparison to current treatments which take up to 3 weeks. 

– It has no visible side effects at the preclinical level such as sedation or drowsiness. 

– It is an alternative for patients who present total or partial resistance to current treatments. 


Half of the patients being treated for clinical depression in the United States, (10.5 million in 2020) do not present or present a low response to the drugs currently available on the market.  

The global market for depression was estimated at US$10.1 billion in 2022, with a CAGR of 5.2% (Future Market Insights, 2022) and where the US market corresponds to US$ 3.78 billion. 

Development status

TRL-3, non GLP pre-clinical studies

Research Project Academic Contact

Jimmy Stehberg, PhD.