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Mood disorders are complex psychiatric disorders that affect millions of individuals worldwide. For example, over 300 million people are diagnosed with anxiety disorders while 260 million people are diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). Mental health is vulnerable to multiple etiologies like aging, environmental stress, genetics, neurochemical dysfunction, metabolic status, infection/inflammation, pain, or disease.

Worldwide Mental Health Disorder Prevalence*

  • Addiction (substance use disorders) – 45 million people
  • Anxiety Disorder (GAD, SAD…) – 301.9 million people
  • Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – 2.8% of population
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – 1:100 children
  • Bipolar Affective Disorder – 46 million people
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) – 5-7 million people
  • Dementia – 55 million
  • Disruptive Behaviors and Dissocial Disorders – 8% of children, worldwide
  • Dissociative Identity Disorders (DID) – 1.5% of population
  • Eating Disorders (Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge) – 9% of population
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) – 260 million people
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders – ≥300 million people
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – 2-3% of population
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – 4% of population
  • Postpartum Psychosis – 1.1 million women
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) – 1:20 women
  • Schizophrenia – 24 million people

Note (*): Estimated number and/or percentage of adults and children diagnosed with a psychiatric, neurodevelopment, or mood disorder worldwide.

Serendipitous Drug Discovery for Mental Health

Worldwide, millions of children and adults are diagnosed with a mood disorder but for many less than half receive treatment. The development of psychiatric drugs follows the paradigm of “manufacture first, mechanism second”.

With drugs prescribed decades before the mechanism of action is understood. AniLocus collaborates with companies developing novel therapeutics that overcome the challenges and uncertainties for first-line therapeutics such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and anxiolytics.

Recently, cell and gene therapies have been proposed as novel modalities in the treatment of severe psychiatric or rare neurodevelopmental disorders. At AniLocus, we focus on advancing your product from bench to market.

Full-Service Preclinical CRO for Mental Health & Psychiatric Therapeutics

We offer standard and customizable models to validate the efficacy and safety of psychiatric therapeutics and drug/device combination therapeutics.

Specifically, we develop and execute experimental design, IACUC protocols, model selection, model induction, stereotaxic surgery approach, targeting studies, osmotic drug infusion, behavioral assessments, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, serology, toxicity, tolerability, data analysis, acute and long-term efficacy and safety, and toxicology dosing studies for translational drug delivery/administration routes.

For behavioral assessments, AniLocus partners with Centre Scientific to provide customizable scientific equipment for preclinical studies. View products.

Multiple animal models are used in preclinical product development for psychiatric therapies including:

  • Gene knockout/knockin/trapped
  • Transgenic rodents
  • Chemically-Induced Point Mutation rodents
  • Stress-induced models
  • Drug-Induced models
  • Wound/Laceration Models
  • Postpartum Depressive-Like Model
  • Autism-like Models
  • Chronic pain Models
  • Metabolic Dysfunction Models (Diet-induced, Metabolic disorder, micronutrient deficient)
  • And more…

We conduct translational in vivo animal studies collecting detailed, comprehensive results with rapid turnaround.

Drug modalities are different types of therapeutic agents. Each drug is a customizable tool designed for therapeutic intervention. The question is…does your product work and is it safe?

At AniLocus, we conduct relevant preclinical studies to validate any drug modality:

  • Antibodies (nanobodies, monoclonal)
  • Gene therapy (CRISPR, TALEN)
  • Viral therapy (adenovirus-AAV, lentivirus)
  • Oligo- and polypeptides (e.g., stapled and modified peptides)
  • Oligo- and polynucleotides (e.g., siRNAs, mRNAs, aptamers)
  • Polyglycosides
  • Macrocyclic molecules
  • Drug conjugates (e.g., antibody–drug conjugates, drug–drug conjugates, fluorescence-labeled drugs)
  • Targeted protein degraders (e.g., proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) and molecular glues) that induce a chemical knockdown of proteins
  • Cellular therapies (stem cells, allogenic, autologous)

We can perform multiple interrogative assays for any therapeutic area and sample type:

  • DNA: Extraction, PCR, ddPCR, qPCR, sequencing, genotyping
  • RNA: Gene expression profiling, RT-PCR, miRNA, Next-generation sequencing (Nanostring, Illumina), spatial transcriptomics, In situ hybridization (ISH), Multiplex ISH
  • Protein: Immunoassays (ELISA, EIA, Luminex), proteomics, ligand binding assays, protein expression, immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunocytochemistry (ICC), and  immunofluorescence (IF)
  • And more!
  1. Elias, E., Zhang, A. Y., & Manners, M. T. (2022). Novel Pharmacological Approaches to the Treatment of Depression. Life (Basel, Switzerland), 12(2), 196. < >.

  2. Musazzi L. (2021). Targeting metabotropic glutamate receptors for rapid-acting antidepressant drug discovery. Expert opinion on drug discovery, 16(2), 147–157. < >.

  3. Yang, X., Fang, Y., Chen, H., Zhang, T., Yin, X., Man, J., Yang, L., & Lu, M. (2021). Global, regional and national burden of anxiety disorders from 1990 to 2019: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences, 30, e36.

  4. COVID-19 Mental Disorders Collaborators (2021). Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet (London, England), 398(10312), 1700–1712.

  5. Mohammadi, M. R., Salmanian, M., & Keshavarzi, Z. (2021). The Global Prevalence of Conduct Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iranian journal of psychiatry, 16(2), 205–225.

  6. Mir, F. R., Pollano, A., & Rivarola, M. A. (2022). Animal models of postpartum depression revisited. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 136, 105590.

  7. Qi Z, Lyu M, Yang L, Yuan H, Cao Y, Zhai L, Dang W, Liu J, Yang F and Li Y (2021) A Novel and Reliable Rat Model of Autism. Front. Psychiatry 12:549810. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.549810 < >.

  8. Zhang, Y., Zhao, Y., Song, X., Luo, H., Sun, J., Han, C., Gu, X., Li, J., Cai, G., Zhu, Y., Liu, Z., Wei, L., & Wei, Z. Z. (2020). Modulation of Stem Cells as Therapeutics for Severe Mental Disorders and Cognitive Impairments. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 80.
  9. Lee, A. S., Tiwari, S., Bishop, I., Matossian, V., Romaneschi, N., Miyazaki, T., VanderVeen, L., Zalevsky, J., DeFea, K., Cahill, C. M., & Walwyn, W. M. (2021). In vivo and in vitro Characterization of a Partial Mu Opioid Receptor Agonist, NKTR-181, Supports Future Therapeutic Development. Frontiers in pain research (Lausanne, Switzerland), 2, 695962.










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