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Aug 2, 2017

Lundbeck collaborates on large first-of-its kind study of links between genetics and psychiatric disorders

25,000 patients will be enrolled in the first study ever to combine data from genetics, cognitive tests and online surveys to explore how genetics is related to Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Depression and certain brain functions.


Valby, 2017-08-02 08:00 CEST (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) joins personal genetics company 23andMe, Inc. and think tank the Milken Institute in a large new study to increase the understanding of the underlying causes of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD/unipolar depression) and Bipolar Depression. Further, the study will explore how these disorders and brain functions such as attention and decision-making are related to genetics.

Starting today, the study will recruit a total of 25,000 participants (15,000 with MDD, 10,000 with Bipolar Depression) who will have their DNA tested and complete cognitive tests and surveys over nine months. It is the first time these elements will be combined to study these disorders. The study also stands out with the high number of participants observed over a longer time period.

"In order to identify new treatment hypotheses enabling us to develop better drugs for the treatment of MDD and Bipolar Depression, we are constantly seeking new knowledge about the underlying biology and its link to the clinical characteristics. To this end, we expect the study to provide detailed insights into the interaction of mood symptoms, cognitive processes and environmental factors, and to link these factors to genetic data. The latter will provide entry points into the biological processes underlying these diseases," says Anders Gersel Pedersen, Executive Vice President, Research & Development at Lundbeck.


A combination of factors

The study will address two main challenges in treating MDD and Bipolar Depression; the fact that patients can be very different both with regards to symptoms and to the biological processes leading to these symptoms. Patients may also respond very differently to treatment.

MDD and Bipolar Depression are known to be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors, but exactly how and how much which factor weighs in, why, when and in which patients is not known. The new study will hopefully provide data to better understand the factors and their interactions.

Further, Lundbeck hopes that the study results will reveal ways of how to decompose the heterogeneity of the patient populations. This knowledge would be fuelled directly into the company's research and development efforts to develop future treatments.


Study information

The study will be conducted in the United States only. Participants must be 18-50 years old, live in the United States, have access to a desktop or laptop computer (smartphones and tablets will not work with this study), have been prescribed medication to treat MDD or Bipolar Depression, are willing to provide a saliva sample for DNA testing and are willing to complete monthly study sessions over the course of nine months. Participants' data is de-identified to preserve privacy.



Mads Kronborg                                                                                    
Senior Director, Corporate Communication                                                 

Phone: +45 36 43 40 00                                    


About Lundbeck

H. Lundbeck A/S (LUN.CO, LUN DC, HLUYY) is a global pharmaceutical company specialized in psychiatric and neurological disorders. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of research within neuroscience. Our key areas of focus are depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

An estimated 700 million people worldwide are living with psychiatric and neurological disorders and far too many suffer due to inadequate treatment, discrimination, a reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary consequences. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with psychiatric and neurological disorders — we call this Progress in Mind.


Our approximately 5,000 employees in 55 countries are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several late-stage development programmes and our products are available in more than 100 countries. We have research centres in China and Denmark and production facilities in China, Denmark, France and Italy. Lundbeck generated revenue of DKK 15.6 billion in 2016 (EUR 2.1 billion; USD 2.3 billion).

For additional information, we encourage you to visit our corporate site and connect with us on Twitter at @Lundbeck.


About 23andMe, Inc.

23andMe, Inc. is the first and only direct-to-consumer genetic testing service with reports that meet the standard of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe, Inc. has two million customers worldwide, with 85 percent consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is located in Mountain View, CA. More information is available at


About the Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank focused on improving global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health.


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