A report by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has found that over 500 medicines for neurological disorders are currently in development.

The report by the US trade group shows that there are currently 537 medicines in development by America’s biopharmaceutical companies for numerous neurological disorders.

This includes 95 medicines for brain tumours, 46 for chronic pain and 92 for Alzheimer’s disease. The other 30 are being developed for a range of conditions including multiple sclerosis, migraines, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Medicines in the biopharmaceutical development pipeline include several novel approaches to treating neurological diseases. Another recent report found that 74% of medicines in the biopharmaceutical pipeline for neurological disorders are potentially ‘first-in-class’.

The report cites several examples of new approaches currently in development, including a monoclonal antibody in development for the prevention of migraine headaches, disease-modifying treatments that may stop or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and a cell therapy in clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that uses transplanted stem cells.

According to the PhRMA report, although biopharmaceutical companies are uncovering new targets and treatments, there is still unmet need, with Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and other disorders of the brain affecting one in six people around the world. Many neurological disorders do not have a cure, and can often be debilitating.

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With the annual cost of neurological disorders in the US already approaching $800bn, new treatments that both modify and prevent neurological disease are necessary.

Neurological disorders, which include more than 1,000 conditions that disrupt the brain and nervous system, affect nearly one third of the US population, with this number likely to increase.

In a statement, PhRMA said: “The 537 medicines in development represent a heightened understanding of the underlying mechanisms of neurological disorders. This improved understanding ultimately paves the way for biopharmaceutical companies to uncover new targets, treatments and cures that enhance and save patients’ lives.”