Synergy in Action

Accelerating Development of Psychopathology Measures – Joint ISCTM/ECNP Working Group

Chairs: Nina R. Schooler, PhD; Celso Arango, MD, PhD; Jenicka Engler, PsyD

Inaugural Meeting: 2023 Autumn Conference – includes joint day with ECNP, 5-7 October 2023, Barcelona, Spain

The ISCTM and ECNP are partnering in a joint Working Group on Accelerating Scale Development to examine strategies that can speed development of clinical outcome assessments (COAs) and measures of psychopathology for use in clinical trials. This new WG will take place immediately following the ISCTM session on Saturday, October 7th titled Are our clinical psychopathology rating scales fit for purpose decades later? prior to the start of the ECNP Congress to build upon the session.

Although they may have served us well in the past, current COAs developed decades ago for the drugs in development at that time do not address the full range of signs and symptoms that characterize the complex disorders we treat. New medications with novel mechanisms of action may address psychopathological domains that have not been treatable by prior agents, or not measured on established COAs. As part of this effort, the WG will empirically examine whether current COAs used in CNS drug development are “fit for purpose” to detect change and differentiate between drug-placebo in trials by comparing data from historical and recent development programs with newer drug MOAs.

The main aim of the inaugural WG meeting is to consider strategies for COAs that take advantage of methods, technologies, treatments, and interventions that were not available when the currently used rating scales were developed. This includes setting goals for determining ‘best practices’ for new scale development, validation, publication, topic sessions at future ISCTM and ECNP congresses, and other approaches to usher in novel COAs and identifying barriers to their implementation.