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Improving the future of drug development for central nervous system disorders.

Nature Reviews recently published a comment piece in which scientists, including Professor Barbara Sahakian, made recommendations about overcoming barriers to developing drugs for central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

The authors begin by explaining how Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) held a summit in 2014 to task a consortium with implementing the recommendations outlined in the paper. The theme of the paper is how the development of CNS drugs should be a joint enterprise between researchers and regulatory authorities.

The authors set out the aim to establish an international, multi-disciplinary forum on brain diseases by 2018 in order to foster such collaborations. The forum should assist in the transition from basic science to clinical trials by encouraging research and industry to collaborate from the initial design stages. The forum will be lead by the CINP.

The authors outlined the merits of patient registries and the collaborative development of an action plan to improve the current registries. Currently, the authors point out that a lack of data reproducibility hinders drug development, but suggest that collaborative discussions could find solutions to this issue.

In addition, the authors recommended that scientific nomenclature should be standardised to reduce confusion and assist in unifying research activities. Attention was drawn to an editorial to be led by Professor Shitij Kapur (King’s College London, UK) and Dr Zoran Simic (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, UK) in 2015 that will outline the extent to which biomarkers and other diagnostic tools are beneficial for psychiatry research.

This commentary published in Nature Reviews calls for an update of intellectual property laws to allow the development of CNS drugs to be economically viable. The authors conclude with their plans to raise awareness and encourage early diagnosis of psychiatric disorders with global campaigns.

Barbara SahakianBarbara Sahakian

Professor Barbara Sahakian commented: “The CINP Summit Group identified important initiatives and opportunities that could lead to a better understanding of the brain in health and disease and to the development of novel, more effective pharmacological treatments. Patient involvement and patient registries and data bases will be crucial for realising future potential for drug discovery. It is an exciting time with the Human Brain Project, the BRAIN Initiative, G8 and the World Economic Forum all showing an interest in ensuring good brain health for people throughout the world. Together, we can improve the functionality, quality of life and wellbeing for patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, and promote a flourishing society.”

Posted on 12/01/2015

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