Based: Mulhouse, France
Founded: 2000

Why It's Fierce: Neuro3D turned heads last April when it reported positive data on two Phase II trials of ocaperidone, demonstrating antipsychotic effects by various measurements. Neuro3D in-licensed the compound from Janssen in '02 and it's now planning a Phase III pivotal trial. Further down the pipeline are two other compounds that may play a new role in fighting depression; ND1251 and ND7001. ND7001 is in Phase I trials and has shown signs of acting not only as an antidepressant but as an anxiolytic, offering a new method for treating depression and anxiety at the same time. If proven out, it would tackle a serious unmet need for helping depressed patients through weeks of anxiety in the gap between taking an SSRI drug and starting to see the effects of the drug. And the biotech has commanded the respect of the venture crowd, hauling in $42.9 million in its third round at the beginning of this year.

What to look for: A small biotech, Neuro3D is in talks to find collaborators -- and deeper pockets -- for both ocaperidone and ND7001, but there's no set timetable. One option is to push ahead with a Phase III trial on its own.


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