FILE PHOTO: A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
(Reuters) – An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended Johnson & Johnson’s experimental nasal spray, which has a compound similar to often-abused ketamine, for patients suffering from depression.
The panel voted 14-2 in favor of the drug esketamine, developed to treat major depression in patients who have not benefited from at least two different therapies, saying its benefits outweighed the risks.
One member in the panel abstained from voting on the question.
Esketamine is a variation of the anesthetic ketamine, which is also abused as a recreational party drug with the street nickname Special K.
Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta