SEOUL, Korea, Oct 19, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — South Korean biotech SK biopharmaceuticals announced yesterday that they entered into a research and development agreement with Medicilon, of Shanghai, China, for their novel new small molecule SKL-PSY that is being developed for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder.

Unlike currently-marketed antidepressants that can require 2-4 weeks to become effective, SKL-PSY has a relatively quick onset of therapeutic effects in animal models of depressive and manic states. The molecule is expected to be effective for both; such dual-action can be problematic for currently-marketed antidepressants or other drugs for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

The combined current market size for antidepressants and treatments for bipolar disorder is estimated to be $39 billion annually.

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