Inside This Issue: Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia
Top News Alerts: Product Updates, Deals & Financings
NIH Corner: Introducing NeuroNEXT
Company Spotlight: Targacept
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Market Highlights: Neurotech Venture Investment up 17%, Devices Comeback
Neurotech venture investment was up 17% in 2011 to $1.14 billion compared to $975 million in 2010. The average deal size rose from $9.5 million to $12.5 million with the number of deals down only slightly from 103 to 91. Neurodevice investment made a massive recovery accounting for more than 50% of the neurotech venture dollars invested. Neurodevices garnered $647 million in 2011 compared to only $153 million in 2010. Top device financings included Nevro with $58 million and NeuroPace with $49 million. Neuropharmaceutical investment plummeted from $757 million in 2010 to only $417 million in 2011. The top financing was NextWave Pharmaceuticals with $45 million. Diagnostic investment was up 18% to $75 million from $64 million...
(numbers updated to reflect additional year end venture data)
Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia and CIAS
The idea that schizophrenics are cognitively impaired is rather new and still not accepted in all quarters. Traditional psychiatry texts often note that schizophrenics are highly intelligent. Classical texts are filled with examples of elaborate and intricate delusional schemes built by schizophrenics to illustrate preserved intellect and deteriorating affect. The "original" negative symptoms, coined by Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler - who also coined the term schizophrenia- did not mention cognitive deficits. The original negative symptoms were blunted affect, poverty of speech (alogia), inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia), social withdrawal (asociality), and lack of motivation (avolition). Cognitive impairment is now routinely called a negative symptom and to some people, the term "negative symptoms" is synonymous with "cognitive symptoms." This article outlines treatments in development for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
Targacept Emphasizes Pipeline in Wake of Depression Trial Data
Neurotech Insights last published an interview with Targacept (TRGT) CEO J. Donald deBethizy in November 2009. At the time, Targacept was riding high on very significant results from a Phase IIb of TC5214 for adjunct treatment of major depressive disorder. Results from the first two of four Phase III trials were announced in November and December and they did not meet the key efficacy endpoints. Targacept stock sunk below cash to a $175 million valuation. Two more efficacy trials (with fixed dose compared to the previous flexible dose trials) are still in process. deBethizy is realistic about the chances of success. "The odds have gone down," he says. "If I've done anything in my life, I've been through the ups and downs of CNS drug development. A lot of companies that get negative Phase III results don't have the cash or pipeline to recover, but luckily we do. We have always reinvested in early stage programs and continue to believe in nicotinics and the knowledge base that we have built around them. Most investors simply haven't wanted to talk about anything except 5214 so a disproportionate amount of value was placed there." ...
Companies Covered In This Issue Include: Alexza, Somaxon, Ceregene, Celldex, Siemens, Alfred Mann Foundation, Second Sight Medical, Stryker, Concentric, Sunovion, Regeneron, Bayer Healthcare, EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, BioLineRx, NeuroVista, Spinal Modulation, CureMark, Boston Scientific, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Vivus, Trophos, Novartis, Prizer, NeurogesX, Alkermes, Signis, Targacept, AstraZeneca, Marinus, Genzyme, Sanofi, Orexo, Biotie, Lundbeck, Impax, Alnylam, Medtronic, Enteromedics, biOasis, Cortical, EndoStim, Cognition Therapeutics, CeneRx, PolyTherics, Nuron, BrainScope, Greatbatch, BeneChill, PharmacoFore, to-BBB, Halo Therapeutics, Mainstay Medical, NeuroGenetic Pharmaceuticals, HealthRally, Agenebio, NeuroTherapeutics, Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Vanda, Novartis, Cephalon, CoMentis, Roche, Shire, Bristol Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline