Innovations In Clinical Neuroscience

MAR-APR 2018

A peer-reviewed, evidence-based journal for clinicians in the field of neuroscience

Issue link: https://innovationscns.epubxp.com/i/964320

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 14 of 55

15 ICNS INNOVATIONS IN CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE March-April 2018 • Volume 15 • Number 3–4 C O M M E N T A R Y Regardless of therapeutic area, drug discovery and development is a long, difficult, and failure-ridden journey. Even in those areas where success blossoms—most recently in immuno-oncology —it is easy to forget that the landscape once looked different to the casual observer. Indeed, just a few years ago many biopharmaceutical companies eschewed immuno-oncology as a marginal area with limited potential for clinical impact. Hindsight is 20-20, but a look into the rear view mirror identifies the signs and signals that foretold the advent of the new wave of immuno- oncology therapeutics. Starting with the identification of central molecular pathways for lymphocyte activation or suppression, more detailed understanding of the tumor microenvironment, the development of targeted checkpoint inhibitors, and identification of responsive patient populations, what began as a "high risk" area has culminated in a torrent of clinical investigation, combination therapies, and increasingly refined treatment options that are changing the field of medicine. As much as oncology has recently reigned supreme in the biopharma firmament, the development of neuroscience therapeutics has lagged over the past 15 years. The prominent and expensive failures in Alzheimer's disease therapies, in particular, have led to a contagious belief system in some parts of the biopharma industry that neuroscience is just too hard, too risky, and too uncertain. But, might this belief system itself be a residual bias of the past? Close inspection reveals all the signs of a coming era of neurotherapeutics. First, arguably no other area of biomedical science is advancing as rapidly as neuroscience. From our understanding of core molecular and cellular processes that contribute to brain development, plasticity, function, and aging, to our unprecedented ability to monitor and manipulate neural circuits, we are witnessing a revolution. Second, we are defining the genetic architecture of complex neurological and neuropsychiatric disease that is unraveling pathways and creating therapeutic hypotheses more causally rooted in human by MICHAEL D. EHLERS, MD, PhD Dr. Ehlers is with Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2018;15(3–4):15–16 FUNDING: No funding was received for the preparation of this article. DISCLOSURES: Dr. Ehlers is an employee and shareholder at Biogen Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. CORRESPONDENCE: Michael D. Ehlers, MD, PhD; Email: michael.ehlers@biogen.com Prominent and expensive failures in Alzheimer's disease therapies have led to a contagious belief system in some parts of the biopharma industry that neuroscience is just too hard, too risky, and too uncertain. But, might this belief system itself be a residual bias of the past? Close inspection reveals all the signs of a coming era of neurotherapeutics. Neuroscience is the Next Oncology R

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Innovations In Clinical Neuroscience - MAR-APR 2018