The July/August 2021 issue of NeuroPerspective begins with the Mid-Year Overview of the neurotherapeutics sector. It includes extensive coverage of and commentary about the FDA’s dramatically negligent approval of Biogen’s Aduhelm/aducanumab, negligent because of its disregard for its own ADCOM recommendations, omission of even basic limitations on labeling and REMS requirements. Other news coverage includes the mixed finds for Biogen/Sage‘s zuranolone, albeit with the bottom line that there may be a niche depression population for which zuranolone might be a preferred options; new partnerships for AbbVie; continued investor enthusiasm for the burgeoning area of Psychedelic therapies, made tangible by ATAI‘s highly successful IPO; Cerevel‘s PhIb success with its M4 agonist; and the tragic turn of events for the Huntington’s community in the wake of tominersen’s failure in PhIII. An update on the Psychedelics area is included, as are capsule summaries of progress at 150+ CNS companies, including AbbVie, Annovis, Athira, Axsome, ATAI, Biogen, Cassava, Cerevel, Lilly, MindMed, Minerva, Neurocrine, Novartis, Oryzon, Roche, Sage, Sosei Heptares, Tonix, UCB, and UniQure. The Company Review assesses Longboard Pharmaceuticals.
The second section of the issue features a comprehensive review of Addiction, NeuroPerspective’s first since 2018. Addiction continues be a curious and disturbing contradiction, almost completely neglected by the pharma industry despite its worldwide prevalence and toll taken, and the extensive press coverage of such dire events as the American ‘Opioid Epidemic’. There is a surfeit of hand-wringing and blame-placing, but little more than window-dressing when it comes to providing tangible resources . NIDA has done exemplary work in keeping the lights on for Addictions research, but hardly at the scale necessary given the scope of the disorder. This review details the neurophysiology and therapeutic approaches to opioid addiction, and its substance abuse siblings: Alcohol, Nicotine, and Stimulants (cocaine and methamphetamine). Promising novel target systems are appraised, including orexin, GPR139, HDAC2, and potential psychedelic approaches, including ibogaine and its derivatives. Therapeutic programs from AstraZeneca/Eolas, Cerevel, Delix, Embera, InterveXion, MindMed, Indivior, MediciNova, and Opiant are among those reviewed in the review.Read More