A review published in June this year in Nature Reviews in Drug Discovery, describes the difficulties in getting successful clinical trials with psychiatric drugs. It states that the main concern is the gap between the molecular/cellular mechanism of a given target and its effects in the neuronal circuits and behavioral/cognitive processes.
Advances in genetics and molecular neuroscience have allowed identifying new drugable targets. However, many of the newly developed drugs have failed in clinical trials.
A target is a molecule involved in a specific molecular/cellular mechanism that causes effects on a circuit function and on behavioral/cognitive processes. The traditional approach is the use of different standard animal models to determine if a compound improves the altered functions in such models. However, it does not inform about the mechanism of action of the target, and therefore, it makes difficult to interpret and understand the effects or lack of effects seen in human patients.
BRAINco Biopharma works on psychiatric drug discovery projects, integrating novel therapeutic targets identification and the development of cellular and animal models based on the identified target. These models are used to validate the target, but also to find candidates, that modulate the target, for clinical development. BRAINco strategy allows narrowing the gap between the mechanism of action of an innovative target and its observed effects.