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      HealthWACH: Fast tracks


      Major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression is a type of depression that physically affects a personâ??s ability to eat, sleep, work, study, etc. Those who suffer from the condition are not able to enjoy their favorite activities due to the overwhelming feelings of depression and sadness. Major depressive disorder prohibits patients from daily normal functions and begins to take over their life and well-being. Symptoms of major depression disorder can include: a constant loss of energy, insomnia or hypersomnia, thoughts of death or suicide, and feeling worthless.

      A new drug, ALKS 5461, has recently been Fast Tracked by the FDA to treat patients with major depressive disorder. Alkermes plc designed ALKS 5461 to help patients who are not responding to standard therapies. This is a non-addictive opiate that is also being tested for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

      Celiac disease is a reaction to eating gluten found in rye, wheat, and barley. Over time, if a person with celiac disease continues to consume gluten-enriched foods, it can damage the lining of the small intestine and cause malabsorption. This will start to affect the bones, nervous system, brain, liver and other organs. There is no cure for celiac disease, but eating a gluten-free diet will help in managing symptoms.

      Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently released a new drug, ALV003 to be Fast Tracked by the FDA. This new medication is designed to treat the needs of celiac disease patients in partnership with a gluten-free diet. There are no forms of treatment or therapy on the market to treat Celiac disease, ALV003 is the first.