Cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe with people with mild impairment still being able to do their everyday activities unlike severely affected people who partially lose their ability to live independently. Most of the common disorders like Schizophrenia, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are chronic and currently there is no cure for neurocognitive disorders.
Currently antidepressants, antipsychotics and other medications that treat memory loss and behavioural symptoms are available and may help to treat the diseases. Apart from these existing measures many other developments are taking place in this respect. According to the study “Cognitive Impairment Disorders Drug Development Pipeline Review, 2018” suggests that majority of products under development for these disorders are small molecules in order for them to cross the blood-brain barrier and such products are proving commercially viable. In addition the majority of products are neuromodulators, impacting the dopaminergic, serotonergic and glutamatergic systems.
Several products are being developed to address the significant unmet needs that exist in schizophrenia. Three potential treatments, namely ITI-007, MIN-101 and NaBen are aimed at managing the negative symptoms of the disease. In addition AVN-211 is in its late stage development as a treatment for the cognition impairments associated with schizophrenia and Lu AF35700 has been developed with the aim to address treatment resistance in schizophrenia patirnts. Finally, three formulations of Risperidone namely Risperidone implant, Risperidone ISM and RBP-7000 are expected to offer improved safety profiles.
Medical research has also brought up new findings. A new research study by scientists in Australia and the US has recently provided explanation for failed clinical trials of drugs reducing proteins in the brain that were initially thought to cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation has subsequently been realized as a major cause for such ailments and now focus has shifted to finding ways of reducing inflammation by improving anti-inflammatory drugs. Inflammation has long been known to increase as dementia related diseases progress, but only now has it been identified as the cause.
Alzheimer’s disease has long been one of the toughest ailments to combat. This is evident by the fact that no new drug for its treatment has been discovered for more than a decade. There is also no clear consensus on what exactly biopharma companies should focus on while developing Alzheimer’s medicines. However, the scenario is changing as Alzheimer’s companies are taking steps in this direction. The Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute of Aging released their proposed research framework recently which focuses more on prevention rather than treatment of people once they are already grappling with Alzheimer’s devastating effects.
There are a number of companies that are contributing to the developments made in cognitive research. Key companies include Eli Lilly and Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. All of these are US based global pharmaceutical companies except AstraZeneca which is based in the UK. Intra-Cellular Therapies, Minerva Neurosciences, SyneuRx, Avineuro Pharmaceuticals and Lundbeck among others have recently launched their respective drugs to combat cognitive disorders like schizophrenia.
Cognitive research is leading to an in depth understanding of cognitive disorders. Modern day scientists are not only exploring ways to treat these ailments but also prevent them from happening. Many individual drugs have been launched recently and many more studies are underway that are clearing our understanding of these ailments and their root causes. Such developments are being led mostly by US and UK based companies.
To know more, click on the link below:
Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications