Neurological and psychiatric disorders are the diseases that come with the highest burden to individuals and society in Europe. Today, it is estimated that 1 billion people are or will suffer from any kind of brain disorder: from chronic pain conditions, to migraine, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, schizophrenia or depression. The cost on a worldwide basis is calculated at €2000Bn/year, or €4 Mn/minute. Despite such high human and monetary costs, innovations in the treatment of such diseases have been scarce, still leaving a cruel lack of effective therapeutic options.
Innovation: EARTO member CEA developed Therapeutic Booster, which constitutes a real paradigm shift compared to current treatments since it takes advantage of the strong interactions between neurons and their partner cells in the brain, called glial cells. CEA’s idea is to improve brain disorder treatments by combining a neuron targeting drug with a glial cells targeting drug.
Impact expected: This innovation has the potential to completely revise the available treatments for a broad range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Thanks to its industrial strategy and only 4 years after its creation, CEA spin-off Theranexus has been able to bring 3 drugs to the development stage. The most advanced is already studied in a phase II clinical trial, and should be registered in both the EU and the US by end 2022.