SOURCE: NeuroInvestment

NeuroInvestment

November 04, 2009 12:34 ET

Depression Treatments Reviewed by NeuroInvestment

CARDIFF, CA--(Marketwire - November 4, 2009) - NeuroInvestment has released its November issue, which reviews novel drug therapies being developed for depression. The treatment of depression, while a major success story for psychopharmacology, has been marred by the high percentage of patients who are treatment-refractory or who experience significant side effects. Depression remains an undertreated disorder of enormous magnitude and societal cost. With patent protection rapidly eroding for major antidepressant brands, the depression market will soon be, at least temporarily, dominated by generics.

Novel mechanisms have been slow to develop: CRF-1 has turned out to be a far more challenging target than first thought, while NK-1/NK-2 now seems to have reached a dead end as a mechanism of interest.

However, there are developments in the depression area which may allow the pharma industry to regain momentum, by producing products whose advantages could make them best-in-class:

1) Targacept (NASDAQ: TRGT) achieved outstanding results with its TC-5214 adjunct Phase II trial in treatment-resistant depression. A major partnership is likely to eventuate in the near future.

2) Privately-held BrainCells reported surprisingly strong data for BCI-952, which is the first therapeutic with a mechanism aimed at neurogenesis to report positive human data. This may herald an entirely new paradigm in the treatment of depression, and perhaps other disorders.

3) The ability of ketamine to produce rapid relief of depression symptoms points to the potential of glutamate-enhancing drugs. While ketamine itself is not an option, there are a range of glutamatergic programs in development, with no optimal target yet established: NR2B (Roche/Evotec); AMPA (Merck, Cortex (AMEX: COR), GSK), and mGluR among the targets being explored.

4) Other intriguing programs are in development by CeNeRx (TriRIMA), Karo Bio, and Servier.

NeuroInvestment is the independent, monthly review of the neurotherapeutics area. A one-year corporate subscription is $1800, email or hardcopy. Add $250 for dual delivery, add $50 for airmail delivery outside North America. A three month trial subscription is US$600.

NI Research is the leading publisher of independent research on the neurotherapeutics industry. NI Research has published NeuroInvestment since 1995; the Private CNS Company Review since 2003; and CNS Disorders/Therapeutics since 2007. NI Research also provides licensing consultation and research for large and small pharmaceutical firms. NI Research has developed an unmatched information base regarding both publicly and privately-held neuro-oriented companies.

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