The January/February 2021 issue of NeuroPerspective has been released. It provides a comprehensive review of 2020, a year that was horrific in the global sense, but surprisingly positive within the neurotherapeutics category; and a candid appraisal of what to anticipate in 2021, a year that will have a number of high-interest datasets coming, but is unlikely to match 2020’s record-setting flow of fiscal resources into the sector.
Highlights and Lowlights from 2020 are assessed, with a high-profile for Biogen in particular. Biogen accounted for 76% of all partnership upfront in 2020, with major deals with Sage Therapeutics and Denali Therapeutics leading the way, but Biogen also made the tactical error of erasing the sponsor/Agency boundary in its aducanumab ADCOM presentation, creating a conflict of interest that hardened the opposition to aducanumab’s already troubled application. Sage had to abort Zulresso’s nascent launch, but ended the year on the high-note of the Biogen partnership. Lilly made some bold moves to expand its neurodegeneration pipeline (via Prevail and Disarm Therapeutics); Neurocrine and Acadia continued to build portfolios fueled by progress with their commercialized assets. Procognitive drugs have finally started to make their mark clinically (Tetra/Shionogi, Boehringer Ingelheim, Aptinyx, Sage), and the new era for psychedelic therapies saw Compass Pathways go public, and Atai Life Sciences complete a major funding round.
On the other hand, the early returns on tau therapeutics raise significant doubts as to the impact of attacking extracellular tau, which raises the profile for programs addressing intracellular tau (Biogen/Ionis, Lilly/AC Immune).
120+ companies have capsule summaries of current activities and coming events, including AbbVie, Alector, Alkahest, Alkermes, Aptinyx, ATAI Life Sciences, Axial Biotherapeutics, Axsome, Biogen, Biohaven, Blackthorn, BrainStorm, Centrexion, Cortexyme, Denali, EIP, Intra-Cellular, Karuna, Lilly, Lundbeck, Marinus, Minerva, NervGen, Neurocrine Biosciences, Noema, Novartis, Oryzon, Ovid, Roche, Sage Therapeutics, Sunovion, Takeda, UCB, Voyager Therapeutics, Wave Life Sciences, Xenon, Yumanity, Zogenix, and many more.
The Jan/Feb NP also overviews the multiple factors impacting prospects for Biogen‘s aducanumab NDA; provides detailed assessments of the allocation of investor and partnership resources by therapeutic area; and discusses the Analytic Myopia that plagued some appraisals of the Biogen/Sage deal. marathon and the pharmacotherapy of Borderline Personality Disorder.
The Company Spotlight covers Libra Therapeutics, developing a portfolio of compounds spun out by Axxam.