More than 500 neurology medicines in development

Jul 18, 2018
More than 500 neurology medicines in development

More than 500 medicines for neurological disorders are currently in development, offering fresh hope to the 100 million Americans affected by conditions like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.1

A new report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Medicines in Development for Neurological Disorders, shines a light on the hundreds of new therapies currently under investigation for disorders of the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

“Many of the 537 medicines in development represent a growing understanding of the underlying mechanisms of neurological disorders,” said the report.

“This enhanced understanding creates scientific progress over time and allows researchers to explore new pathways and scientific approaches to treat these complex disorders.”

The PhRMA report also looks at the very human impact of the more than 1,000 known neurological disorders which affect almost one-third of the U.S. population.1 While some, such as epilepsy, migraine, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, are well-known, others affect just small numbers of people. In fact, 360 of the 7,000 disorders classified as rare diseases are primarily neurological, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease.1

Gerard Marek, Executive Medical Director of Immunology, Infectious Disease, Transplant, CNS and Pain at Astellas, said: “Advances in understanding the biology – including genetics – of rare neurological diseases are resulting in novel treatment approaches. Our aim is to translate these innovative approaches aligned with new biological knowledge to make a significant impact on these devastating diseases.”

In all, neurological disorders cost the U.S. $800 billon a year, and almost half of the financial and societal burden is attributed to morbidity and disability. These numbers are predicted to rise in the coming years.

“Because neurological disorders are more prevalent in older adults and people are living longer… there is an unprecedented increase in the number of people affected by neurological disorders. It is more important than ever that new treatments that both modify disease and prevent disease are found,” said the report.

And with 537 medicines for a wide range of these disorders on the horizon, the next decade promises to be an exciting time, it added.

Read the report here.


  1. Gooch CL, Pracht E, Borenstein AR. The burden of neurological disease in the United States: A summary report and call to action. Ann Neurol 2017; 81:479-484.
More than 500 neurology medicines in development

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