Mental disorders, such as ADHD, OCD and Anxiety are a large and growing issue in the world population. This has even become more clear during the pandemic. These illnesses are poorly understood and stigmatizing for patients creating a challenge for both diagnosis and proper treatment as well as extensive suffering. Although the world of medicine has progressed rapidly in many areas, most treatments for mental disorders are decades old, have grave side effects and low response rates.
Currently, poor mental health is costing the world economy approximately $2.5 trillion per year. As the scientific community is beginning to unravel the underlying pathways of mental disorders better, new approaches are on the rise. The discovered links between the immune system and mental states offer potential for a paradigm shift in mental disease management and for the birth of new classes of psychiatric medicines.
Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London have identified a protein that could serve as a neuroimmunological target and potentially revolutionize the way mental disorders are treated. Preliminary experiments show promise for disorders like OCD, anxiety and ADHD.
The proof of principle has been demonstrated in relevant mice models. In addition, correlations have been demonstrated of the protein’s expression in patients with the diagnosis of several mental illnesses and with disease severity. The next steps involve further target validation, product development (e.g humanising antibody and/or small-molecule development) and further experiments required to develop a full preclinical information package required for first in man studies.
Meet the team
Taco van der Feltz
A highly international and networked entrepreneur trained as Medical Doctor and Medical Biologist, he is a visionary strategist conversant within and across disciplines. As Venture Partner, his focus is on building innovative companies and strengthening NLC’s abilities to bring innovations to healthcare.