GUEST AUTHOR ARCHIVES
April 27, 2006
If I were back in Boston, this would be an event I wouldn't miss. The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT presents "On Addiction," a major conference that will bring scientists together with clinicians, public policy makers and former addicts to confront a disease that affects more than 22 million Americans every year (NOT including nicotine addiction?!) Long viewed as a psychological weakness, addiction is now recognized as a disease caused by complex chemical reactions in the reward circuitry of the brain. Understanding these fundamental processes on the cellular and molecular level may yield key insights into potential addiction treatments and cures. Monday, May 8, 8:45-4:45 pm. (Photo: The reward pathway)
Topics for discussion include:
-Neuroscience and the challenge of undoing addiction.
-The addicted brain: What distinguishes the true addict from the habitual user?
-Brain disorder or character flaw? Public ignorance and the stigma of addiction.
-New treatments for the compulsive behaviors that underlie drug and alcohol abuse.
Moderated by Ira Flatow, National Public Radio
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues
April 26, 2006
For those of you who missed Tyler Cowan's article in the NYTimes last week, here is a bit he shares on his group blog Marginal Revolution (visit MR to access the full article):
"Not all of neuro-economics uses brain scans. Andrew W. Lo, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, applied polygraph-like techniques to securities traders to show that anxiety and fear affect market behavior. Measuring eye movements, which is easy and cheap, helps the researcher ascertain what is on a subject's mind. Other researchers have opened up monkey skulls to measure individual neurons; monkey neurons fire in proportion to the amount and probability of rewards. But do most economists care? Are phrases like "nucleus accumbens" — referring to a subcortical nucleus of the brain associated with reward — welcome in a profession caught up in interest rates and money supply? Skeptics question whether neuro-economics explains real-world phenomena...
The next step? Perhaps neuro-economics should turn its attention to political economy. Do people use the same part of their brains to vote as to trade? Is voting governed by fear, disgust or perhaps the desire to gain something new and exciting?"
I can't wait for Tyler to get a hold of my forthcoming book, Our Emerging Neurosociety: How Brain Science Is Radically Re-Shaping Business, Politics and Culture. But in the meantime, I hope he continues to answer the really deep questions like why do all songs on iTunes cost 99 cents?
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroeconomics
Harry Tracy is one of the world's most knowledgeable individuals when it comes to neuropharma, and here are the kind words he sent out to his subscribers earlier this week regarding our upcoming conference.
In the past, NI Research has not publicized any of the many neuro-oriented
conferences that have crossed our radar. But we are making an exception for
the May 18 conference being organized by NeuroInsights (not affiliated with
NI Research in any way), to be held in San Francisco. It has been developed
with unusual care and quality. Information is attached regarding the
'particulars.' I believe it will be very worthwhile, and I plan to attend.
We greatly appreciate the acknowledgement and support.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry
April 18, 2006
The Neurotechnology Industry 2006 Report is finally finished and available.
Neurotechnology Revenues Reach $110 Billion Says New Report on the Brain Industry: NeuroInsights Reveals Investment Trends, Market Opportunities and Product Pipelines of 450 Neurotech Companies
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2006--NeuroInsights, the neurotechnology market authority, today announced the release of the industry's second annual comprehensive investment and business analysis of the global neurotechnology marketplace. In the report, NeuroInsights provides a unified market-based framework to help investors, companies, and governments easily quantify opportunities, determine risks and understand the dynamics of this rapidly changing market.
"The Neurotechnology Industry 2006 Report: Market Analysis and Strategic Investment Guide of the Global Neurological Disease and Psychiatric Illness Markets," is a 330-page report tracking developments at over 450 public and private companies involved in neurotech. The report includes competitive analysis and clinical trials by market segment for more than a dozen disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, addiction, anxiety, attention disorders, depression, epilepsy, hearing loss, insomnia, obesity, pain, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, stroke and other brain-related illnesses.
The Neurotechnology Industry 2006 Report's findings include:
-- Neurotech products generated revenues of $110 billion in 2005 with 10% growth. The three sectors contributed as follows: neuropharmaceuticals with revenues of $93 billion and 7% growth; neurodevices with revenues of $3.4 billion and 21% growth; and neurodiagnostics with revenues of $13.5 billion and 11% growth.
-- Venture capital investment in neurotech companies climbed 230% from 1999 to 2005, representing nearly $7.5 billion. Today, one-in-four VC dollars invested in life sciences goes to neurotechnology companies.
-- NeuroInsights' Neurotech Index, an investment benchmark that measures the stock performance of 30 publicly traded neurotechnology companies, which was started December 31, 2003, was up 85%, as of March 31st, 2006, compared to gains of 16% in both the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ Composite Index.
-- Neurological disease and psychiatric illness represent the largest and fastest growing unmet medical market: over 1.5 billion people worldwide and 100 million individuals in North America alone.
"2005 was another solid growth year for neurotech companies with heavy merger and acquisition activity," said Zack Lynch, managing director of NeuroInsights. "In 2005, new drugs and devices were approved for unmet medical needs in insomnia, depression, and stroke. Substantial venture investment, particularly in specialty pharmaceuticals and neurodevices, continues to drive future growth."
Developments in the neurotechnology industry will be discussed at NeuroInsights' annual Neurotech Industry Investing and Business Conference to be held on May 18th, 2006, at the Westin San Francisco in Millbrae, California. The market-defining conference will feature 40 neurotech executives and investors discussing the critical trends driving the development new drugs, devices and diagnostics for the brain and nervous system.
Pricing and Availability
"The Neurotechnology Industry 2006 Report: Market Analysis and Strategic Investment Guide of the Global Neurological Disease and Psychiatric Illness Markets" is available immediately. The cost of the report is $4,500 and can be ordered directly at www.neuroinsights.com or by calling 415-229-3225.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: NeuroInsights
April 17, 2006
As always, Stanford's monthly neuroethics newsletter has some very relevant links. Now if I could only convince them to put this in blog format so I wouldn't have to create individual links for each one of these articles. Enjoy.
“Imaging May Help with Depression” - NewKerala.com, April 3, 2006
“Study Finds Brain Imaging Could Predict Best Depression Therapy” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 5, 2006
“On Advertising: Better Ads with MRIs?” - International Herald Tribune, March 26, 2006
“Neuroscience for Kids – Neuroethics” - Neuroscience for Kids, April 4, 2006
“Brain Cells Fused with Computer Chip”
LiveScience.com, March 27, 2006
“Why is a Woman's Brain Smaller Than a Man's? Maybe Because She’s a Fox”
Times Online.UK, April 3, 2006
“Working Memory Key to Breakthroughs in Cognitive Neuroscience” - Washington University-St. Louis, April 3, 2006
“Diffusion Tensor Imaging” - MIT Technology Review, March/April 2006
“Conscious, Unconscious Memory Found Linked” - Physorg.com, April 4, 2006
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neuroethics
April 14, 2006
$25K Prize for Neurobiology
posted by Zack Lynch |
April 13, 2006
From this month's Neurotech Insights investment newsletter focused on the depression market:
While drugs to treat depression have proven effective for millions of individuals there exist a significant number of patients who do not respond to antidepressants. Treatment resistant depression, or refractory depression, is a condition that affects an estimated 4 million people in the U.S. and 11 million worldwide. Until recently, there were no options for these individuals beyond treatment with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which commonly induces memory loss among other issues. Today, several neurodevice approaches for the treatment of refractory depression are emerging including Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).
The first neurodevice to be approved by the FDA for depression was Cyberonics’ VNS Therapy system. On July 15, 2005, the FDA approved Cyberonics’ VNS Therapy as a long-term adjunctive treatment for patients 18 years of age or older with chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression in a major depressive episode that have not responded to at least four adequate antidepressant treatments. Chronic treatment-resistant depression is defined as being in the current depressive episode for more than two years. Recurrent treatment-resistant depression is defined as having a history of multiple prior episodes of depression. The approved indication for use includes patients with unipolar or bipolar depression in a major depressive episode.
This is the first time an implanted device has been approved by the FDA for treatment of a psychiatric illness. VNS Therapy was already approved for sale in the European Union and in Canada as a treatment of depression in patients with treatment-resistant or treatment-intolerant major depressive episodes including unipolar depression and bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. Currently over 550 people have a VNS implant for treatment resistant depression. Another 7,000 people are currently seeking approval from their insurance companies for the $25,000 operation, according to the Washington Post.
The second neurodevice technique being investigated as a potential treatment for refractory depression is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Over 30,000 people have been implanted with DBS systems for the treatment of movement disorders in people with severe tremor or Parkinson’s disease and now there are attempts to use it to treat depression. DBS devices resemble cardiac pacemakers, except that the stimulation electrodes are implanted in specific areas of the brain rather than the heart. Medtronic is currently developing a DBS product called Kinetra for depression. For the foreseeable future, the market for neurostimulators for depression is limited to the severest population of approximately 300,000 in the U.S. with 15,000 new cases emerging each year.
A third neurostimulation technique that is currently being used to treat severe depression is repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). rTMS has one very important advantage over the other techniques, it does not require brain surgery. Instead the external devices deliver brief magnetic field pulses through the cranium. The pulses induce a perpendicular electrical current that affect neurons in the superficial cortical layers—either increasing or diminishing activity. There are some studies that suggest that TMS directed at the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex might be useful as an alternative to electroconvulsive therapy in treating severe or treatment-resistant major depression.
Canada’s MindCare Centres opened their first rTMS clinics for depression in 2004 where rTMS is now approved for treatment resistant depression. MindCare uses a computer controlled magnetic beam applied 20 minutes a day. Some researchers believe that rTMS may apply to many treatment resistant patients in the following markets: depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, tinnitus, pain, Parkinson's, migraines, aphasia, stroke (right after event), eating disorders, and addiction.
Note, more technologies, like transcranial direct current stimulation may be on the way.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurodevices
April 12, 2006
Join investors, executives and leading researchers from across neurotech to discuss the latest developments in drugs, devices and diagnostics for the brain and nervous system on May 18th in San Francisco.
The Neurotech Industry Investing and Business Conference is a one-day conference featuring keynotes on the state of the neurotech industry, cutting edge company presentations, and panel discussions on a comprehensive selection of neurotech topics of interest to biotech, medtech, and IT investors and executives.
We've brought together over 40 speakers to discuss next generation treatments for Alzheimer's, addiction, anxiety, depression, pain, sensory disorders, obesity, stroke, schizophrenia, sleep disorders, epilepsy, Parkinson's and more.
If you are involved in neurotech or are interested in accelerating your learning curve in this exceptional investment arena, you should seriously attend this event. Due to the fact that it is a first year conference we chose a smaller venue which means there is a limited seating capacity and the room is filling up. So this is a reminder to the thousands of Brain Waves readers to register or forever hold your peace.
See NeuroInsights for more details and to download a complete brochure.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: VC for Neurotech
April 7, 2006
Socialtext, the leader in enterprise social software launched a new mobile version of its' worldclass wiki collaboration technology. It won't be too long before most major neurotech research labs will be using some form of wiki technology to collaborate more effectively.
posted by Zack Lynch |
Pfizer is reportedly paying hundreds of millions of dollars for Rinat Neurosciences, a neuropharma company that has been developing therapies for pain, Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but Pfizer has been rapidly adding to its pipeline by avidly buying up developers with promising therapies. Rinat has gained a reputation for its work on injectable protein-based therapies. The CEO of Rinat said that licensing talks turned to an offer of a buyout.
This is just another sign that a growing number of neurotech companies are going to establish their best valuation by an outright acquisition. With big pharma companies scrambling for new drugs and armed with billions of newly repatriated dollars, smaller biotech companies are looking like good investments. Add a somewhat sour market environment for IPOs and you have all the ingredients necessary for a big wave of acquisitions.
For a comprehensive analysis of neurotech M&A see the newly released Neurotechnology Industry 2006 Report.
+ TrackBacks (0) | Category: Neurotech Industry