Depression is a serious and life-threatening condition with high rates of morbidity and a chronic disease course. It is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected.

Prevalence rates vary by age, peaking in older adulthood (above 7.5% among females aged 55-74 years, and above 5.5% among males. When long lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly, be unable to work, maintain relationships and attend to self-care. In the most severe cases, patients may become hospitalized or attempt or commit suicide.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year worldwide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. Suicidal ideation is prevalent and appears to be a suicidal risk factor among psychiatric patients with MDD. The time between the onset of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt is often very short and can be minutes or a few, highlighting the need for urgent intervention and development of novel antidepressant therapies with a rapid onset.

This researchproject  is part of researchgroup Psychedelic Treatment and Mechanisms - University Center of Psychiatrie


How our research benefits to society

MIJ821 is a drug developed by NOVARTIS and intended to be studied as a short-term treatment over 6 weeks in conjunction with pharmacological antidepressant Standard of care treatment, for the rapid reduction of depressive symptoms in adult patients with MDD who have suicidal ideation with intent. This treatment approach is intended to allow these patients to rapidly achieve a significant improvement of their depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation. The main purpose of the study is to determine at what dosage is most suitable for the rapid reduction of the symptoms of MDD and to support future research trials.


University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
University Center of Psychiatry (UCP)
PO Box 30.001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting address
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
University Center of Psychiatry (UCP) 
Hanzeplein 1, Triadegebouw
9713 GZ Groningen