(Written by Alexander Crawford. Data sourced from Finviz.)
A new study by the European Brain Council (EBC) found that the cost of mental and neurological disorders in Europe is far outpacing other diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. The annual cost for treating brain disorders in Europe is now at 798 billion euros ($1 trillion) and rising, posing a “ticking bomb” to the European economy. (via Reuters)
This estimated cost is more than double a previous estimate from EBC in 2005. According to another study last month, approximately 38% of the European Union population suffers today from such brain disorders, including dementia, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Other diseases appear to be significantly less costly. In 2008 a study from the European Heart Network found the total annual cost of cardiovascular diseases at 192 billion euros and 150-250 billion euros for treating cancer.
“The increasing burden and the associated increasing cost of disorders of the brain is a ticking bomb under the European economy and the EU society as a whole,” said the report, calling for a major increase in research funding and resources to help fend off the threat.
The report partly blames strict regulatory review in Europe, and also recent lack of success by pharmaceutical companies in neurological medicines.
Clearly this rising need for mental and neurological treatment is an opportunity for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to increase research and development in the area. With that idea we constructed a list of 3 biotech companies that are involved in therapeutics related to brain disorders.
Do you think these companies will successfully advance treatment for these patients?
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1. Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR): Involves in the identification, development, and commercialization of therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury, and other nervous system disorders. Market cap of $761.87M.
2. Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NBIX): Engages in the discovery, development, and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of neurological and endocrine-related diseases and disorders in the United States. Market cap of $324.26M.
3. Sangamo Biosciences Inc. (SGMO): Engages in the research, development, and commercialization of zinc finger DNA-binding proteins (ZFPs) for gene regulation and gene modification in the United States, including a development program for therapeutics to treat Parkinson’s disease. Market cap of $173.12M.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to see how analyst ratings have changed for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.