Scientists warn on "dead space" as pharma giants shun neuropsych

European experts are sounding an alarm about the recent pullout of GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca from the brain disorder arena.  David Nutt, a professor Imperial College London, and Oxford's Guy Goodwin are calling for a rapid response to what they term a collapse in R&D spending in the field.

"What we have forgotten, and must not forget, is if we stop this research we will have a dead space of 20 to 30 years before we can re-tool again," Nutt tells The Guardian. "Despite the public health imperative, not only has EU research funding remained very low, but--even worse--big pharma is increasingly coming to see research into better neuropsychiatric drug targets as economically non-viable."

That effectively sums up the position of GSK's Andrew Witty, who has explained that the huge risk associated with developing new drugs for neuroscientists is just too high to justify the investment necessary. The Guardian notes that the average time it takes to develop a new drug for a brain disorder is 13 years-considerably higher than the average program and significantly more expensive.

So the experts are seeking a solution. They want the drug companies which are abandoning the field to offer up the work they have to academic researchers in the field. And they want some "insurance" from authorities to protect those companies from any future damages that could arise if they misfire, as has been seen in the past.

- here's the article from The Guardian

Suggested Articles

The new funding will bankroll Dyne's preclinical programs in three muscle-wasting diseases, as well as discovery-stage work.

GigaGen reported that its antibody treatment against COVID-19 was 100 times more protective than plasma and could be ready for human trials in 2021.

Seres Therapeutics is looking for a speedy approval of its once failed drug after it comes through a phase 3 test.