Drug discovery for CNS disorders has suffered a major setback for the past several years compared to drugs for non-CNS disorders. The success rate for CNS drug discovery requires understanding of the target physiology and its interaction with the target site.
Another critical feature is predictive validity which can predict the efficacy of test compounds in humans. At Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Pascal Bonaventure explores the challenges of the central nervous system drug discovery process and studies the effects of pharmacological agents on neuronal networks using novel technologies.
At a recent seminar, Dr. Bonaventure discussed efforts towards successful development of CNS drugs, citing the study by his group on the effects of a short-acting hypnotic on hippocampal neuronal activity using the nVista technology. His talk highlighted the importance of in vivo studies which can provide a reliable guide for assessing therapeutic potential for CNS agents. Finally, he talked about the ongoing work on calcium dynamics in the CA1 region of the hippocampus that precedes convulsive states in freely behaving animals. This might help to identify neuroendophenotypes that can be used as a potential screening assay for drug discovery. View his talk to learn more.