Scientific Council Member Husseini Manji, MD, was quoted in Nature Magazine on the closing of a brain research facility of Novartis, an international pharmaceutical company. The facility aimed to discover new drug treatments for brain and behavior disorders.
Many other major pharmaceutical companies have recently closed their doors at similar research facilities, as the drug development for mental illness has become a financially high-risk effort. Despite the severe and growing need for new treatment options, many companies have pulled back on research in psychiatric disorders. A few, like Novartis, are not abandoning neuroscience, but are shifting the focus to the study of genetics in the hope of better understanding the biology of the brain to identify new treatment strategies. Dr. Manji, underscoring the importance of neuroscience in successfully treating mental illness, stated that “things are cyclical — for those who stay the course, the breakthroughs will finally come”.