Team:The Webb Schools/Implementation


Market Research
Nowadays, the two main treatments for depression are medication and therapy. The common medication is antidepressant. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), a common type of antidepressant, interact with serotonin, a type of neurotransmitter that regulates emotions (Ferguson et al.). However, SSRIs have two limitations. Their side effects include sexual dysfunction and weight gain (Demyttenaere and Jaspers). Additionally, research also shows that SSRI barely has any effect in mild depression when compared to placebo (Fournier et al.).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is applicable to multiple different mental diseases (American Psychological Association, 2017). CBT modifies the patients’ thoughts pattern in order to change their moods or behaviors (Dobson, 2018). However, CBT might not work for people with complicated mental conditions. Since CBT involves confronting patients’ emotions and anxieties, patients may experience an initial period when they are even more depressed and emotionally uncomfortable. Some therapists might even hammer away at the patients’ negative thoughts while paying little attention to the fact that the reason behind might be complex (Windermere).
Other than medication and therapy, two supplements on the market that are similar to our products are 5-HTP and St. John Wort. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that the body uses to produce serotonin. Depression and many other mental health problems are associated with low serotonin levels (Vashadze). Taking 5-HTP seems to improve symptoms of depression by increasing the serotonin level (Albert). However, taking 5-HTP can cause a condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness and blood abnormalities (Gleich, 2017). Other potential side effects of 5-HTP include heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, sexual problems, and muscle problems (Gleich, 2017).
St. John's wort is yellow, star-shaped flowers. There is some strong scientific evidence that it is effective for mild to moderate depression and used for symptoms of menopause. Research suggests that it increases the activity of brain chemicals such as serotonin and noradrenaline that are thought to play an important part in regulating our mood (Apaydin et al). Combining St. John’s wort with certain antidepressants can lead to a potentially life-threatening increase of serotonin, a brain chemical targeted by antidepressants, leading to the banning of the product[1] . St. John’s wort doesn’t treat mild or severe depression. (University of Rochester)
1.Our product is not the traditional antidepressant, but a supplement that gives relatively gentle influence to the human body and provides relief to the body's sub-health condition. Thus, we hope that Elummy could fill the vacancy among the treatments for mild depression and give a new option for the patients. Plus, Elummy is a supplement that has almost no side effects to the human body. Besides treating depression, the reduction of cell oxidative stress and MDA could also result in the delaying aging process, reducing mental pressure, maintaining healthy body condition, and avoiding multiple kinds of diseases.
2.mainly use genetically engineered bacteria to express efeB gene sequence, and secret enzyme to eliminate ROS. This process lowers the MDA rate which adjust oxidative stress rate, in order to alleviate or prevent depression
3.results: Our development team successfully get the target engineered bacteria. According to a series of detection, the target bacteria is capable for its job, which means it can alleviate MDA rate.
The basic principle behind our product is to use the efeB gene to keep the levels of MDA relatively low in human bodies, which can then reduce the severity of depression based on the connection between oxidative stress and depression. Our result showed that bacteria with efeB gene can better curb the levels of MDA than bacteria without efeB gene do.
Targeted User Groups
Due to its unique ability of relieving and preventing mild depression, Elummy mainly targets people who suffer from mild depression, and the people who are experiencing certain levels of stress. Besides, Elummy is also a great choice for people in healthy or sub-healthy condition to use as a medical supplement. For example, one of the target groups is people with negative emotion and stressful life but are uncertain to have psychological intervention. The health care product can prevent this group from accumulating negative emotion and developing into mild depression.
The target group might include people from every age group, including middle school students, college students, young people, middle-aged people, elders, etc. In 2020, 24.6% of the teenagers in China were experiencing some level of depression, and 7.4% of the teenagers suffered severe depression; those are not small numbers for a mental disease. As the competition becomes stiff, the students often experience huge social pressure from parents, teachers, and friends, which would gradually cause mental disorders or breakdowns, plus the students are not yet equipped with strong mental adjustment abilities, making them vulnerable victims for the depression.
Elummy is also suitable for adults. Having experienced great social pressures, grown-up people could use the help of Elummy to relieve their mental stress, and in the meantime, improve their health and delay their aging process.
Selling point
The Elummy is a new form of product ‘
There is a lack of treatment methods for diagnosed patients with only medium to light depression. They are often not prescribed any medication because their effects will not be impressive. The only ways to treat their condition is mental therapy, practicing mindfulness, and sports prescriptions like jogging. We provide a third alternative to relieve the symptoms of depression that provides effective results and has no side effects.
For potential customers only experiencing stressful times or very light depression symptoms, the Elummy provides a method to “rescue” themselves from depression.
Existing products in the market all have different degrees of side effects on the patient, including obesity and increased will of self-harm or suicide. The Elummy creates little to no side effects psychologically or physically to the human body.
Additionally, existing medicine has the same effects on both severe and mild cases, this means that for patients who are experiencing mild depression, there is no better treatment to lessen their symptoms. Our product focuses on reducing oxidative stress in patients, and this provides a better alternative for those who only have a less severe case.
Lastly, the Elummy is also offered at a relatively lower price than existing products, making it more accessible for those already burdened with heavy bills for antidepressant treatment, and more appealing for potential customers.
Future Challenges
The ROS level in each individual varies, influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Therefore, the suggested amount of intake each day varies with gender and age. Therefore, our wet team needs to research the optimal amount of intake daily for different people and create a recommended amount.
Theoretically, our products have no side effects. Eating too much may cause stomach ache. Our products are not tested too, so there might be unknown side effects that might occur later. However, we expect only mild side effects. For the future, we should test out our side effects and improve our products.
Our product might face some regulations in the future. Normally, probiotic products are produced naturally. However, our probiotics are genetically modified, and genetic modified products are still being observed by the government.
Concerns for GMO had already been pointed out by some researchers. Needless to say, the public will have a hard time accepting our product, since it is a genetically modified product. Therefore, we need to inform about our products and test out its safety.
Marketing Plan
The target customers in the market are people with minor depressive disorder or group of people who want to prevent depression.
The advantage of our product is that, unlike traditional depressive disorder treatments, it has absolutely no side effects. Our product will not be categorized as medicine but rather dietary products. Another benefit is that our idea is totally new to the market, which means no competitors exist in the market. Our product is the safest and the most efficient product for people who are afraid of getting depression.