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New Approaches for Neurodegenerative Disorders

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Neurodegenerative disorders represent a tremendous unmet medical need. Millions of people are affected by such diseases as Alzheimer's, Huntington's Parkinson's, MS and ALS, not to mention those suffering the neurodegenerative effects of stroke and spinal cord injury. And because many of these diseases are age-related, the already staggering numbers of patients will increase during the next several years as increasing life expectancies and changing demographics increase the percentage of older Americans. The market for neuroscience therapies is currently the fastest growing segment in pharmaceuticals, and is projected to become the leading therapeutic area within five years. Small wonder that new companies are entering the fray, hoping to capture a share of this multi-billion dollar opportunity as well as to finally offer a cure to the victims of these diseases.

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PsychoGenics Inc.

Parly as a result of lack of predictable behavioral models, many CNS drugs fail in late-stage clinical trials. Formed three years ago, PsychoGenics seeks to offer better predictive models for CNS drug discovery. The company has improved behavioral tests, combined with bioinformatics, which produce more reliable preclinical test results for pharma and biotech clients. Eventually it hopes to enter the therapeutic market with its own drugs.

ProteoTech Inc.

While researches continue to debate the molecular causes of Alzheimer's disease, they do agree that pathological deposits of the beta-amyloid protein are responsible for some of the disease's destructive effects. Researchers at the University of Washington believe they have found a novel aproach that interferes with the harmful formation of amyloid deposits, and have founded ProteoTech Inc. to develop proteoglycan technologies.

Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Panacea Pharmaceuticals is developing products to detect and treat CNS diseases and cancer.

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