SOURCE: NeuroInvestment

NeuroInvestment

April 06, 2011 06:00 ET

Schizophrenia Reviewed by NeuroInvestment

CARDIFF, CA--(Marketwire - April 6, 2011) - NI Research has released the April issue of NeuroInvestment, which reviews the status and prospects of therapeutics for schizophrenia.

Almost a half century has passed, but the therapeutic options for schizophrenia have not advanced dramatically since the first, serendipitous discovery of chlorpromazine. In spite of all the fanfare accorded to the now typical second generation of drugs, their chief advantage is a modestly improved side effect profile. But these drugs carry their own risks, often incurring metabolic disturbance and obesity. While antipsychotic drugs have rendered mass institutionalization an anachronism, it is not as if there has been a fundamental change in the prognosis for these patients: Deinstitutionalization may have been a balm for societal guilt and pocketbook, but the alternative has been existence at the margins of society.

For the most part, the pharma industry has put its resources into creating minor variations on the atypical theme, in a process where the returns are rapidly diminishing, and little or no value is added to the clinical options. There is, however, progress now being made in approaching the cognitive deficits that accompany schizophrenia, which are a huge obstacle for patients seeking to live more normal lives. New mechanisms of action have shown promise in clinical trials: Glycine reuptake inhibition has been advanced in the clinic by Roche, nicotinic alpha 7 agonism has shown success in human testing by Targacept (NASDAQ: TRGT) and their partner AstraZeneca, Lilly is entering Phase III with a mGluR2/3 modulator. New alternatives for addressing the hallucinations and delusions of schizophrenia are also under development, with PDE10 inhibitors in development by Pfizer, EnVivo, and Biocrea.

Given the lack of clarity regarding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, disease-modification is a concept seldom brought up in this context. But in fact, there are companies working on modifying the course of this most devastating of all psychiatric illnesses: Afraxis is developing PAK-1 inhibitors, while Allon Therapeutics has shown hints of benefit with their microtubule-targeting davunetide, and Mind-NRG is developing the trophic neuregulin NRG-101.

The April issue of NeuroInvestment includes a pointed critique of the proposed buyout of Cephalon by Valeant Pharmaceuticals; nicotinic agonist data from Targacept and preclinical data indicating that nicotinics may be applicable to global ischemia. The April issue includes a brief review of GeNeuro, developing monoclonal antibodies to retroviruses they believe may be applicable to both schizophrenia and MS.

About NeuroInvestment: NeuroInvestment is the independent, monthly review of the neurotherapeutics area. A one-year subscription is $2100, email or hardcopy. Add $250 for dual delivery, add $50 for airmail delivery outside North America. A three-month trial subscription is US$700. The schizophrenia issue is available as a single-issue purchase for $350.

A recent sample issue of NeuroInvestment is available for download at: http://www.neuroinvestment.com/NewPublications.html

NI Research is the leading publisher of independent research on the neuropharmaceutical/therapeutic industry. NI Research has published NeuroInvestment since 1995; the Private CNS Company Review since 2003; and CNS Disorders/Therapeutics, an annual compendium of all neuro-oriented R&D programs, since 2007.

NI Research has developed an unmatched information base regarding both publicly and privately held neuro-oriented companies, and offers M&A/licensing consultation and research for large and small pharmaceutical firms.

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