Sparking Inspiration in Neurodegenerative Disease

Neurodegenerative diseases (such as Huntington disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease), are devastating conditions that progressively destroy people’s lives, and the lives of their families.

The term neurodegenerative disease covers a range of conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the brain. Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord. Neurons normally don’t reproduce or replace themselves, so when they become damaged or die the loss is permanent. Loss of neurons results in progressive degeneration and / or death of nerve cells, causing problems with movement (called movement disorders), or mental functioning (called dementias).

Can Convergent Pathways Provide the Key?

People are living longer and neurodegenerative diseases are becoming more prevalent. Teva’s R&D group is challenging this epidemic of neurodegenerative conditions. We are working across a number of these diseases to identify convergent pathogenic pathways in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington diseases that are shared targets for drug development. Read about what we are doing in HD >  

We also have new drugs in development to both relieve the symptoms of Huntington disease and to slow, or arrest, the progress of the disease.

In Parkinson’s disease we are taking a very innovative approach to overcoming some of the current problems associated with the treatment. This is being done through a program identified as part of our New Therapeutic Entity (NTE) process >

Today, neurodegenerative diseases are incurable - we hope that the work we are doing now will change that tomorrow.

The Cost of Neurodegenerative Disease

There is a wide range of diseases that can be classified as neurodegenerative. Some are very rare - but all have a significant impact.

The global cost of managing dementia is significant, and rising. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people living with dementia worldwide is set to treble to 115 million in less than 40 years.

In the US alone, the national economic burden of Parkinson’s disease was $14.4 billion in 2010. It is estimate that approximately 1 million people in the US (5 million people worldwide) have PD, and its prevalence is expected to double by 2030*.

The number of cases of HD worldwide is also expected to rise by 5% by 2019**.

* Dorsey, E. R., Constantinescu, R., Thompson, J. P., Biglan, K. M., Holloway, R. G., Kieburtz, K., Marshall, F. J., Ravina, B. M., Schifitto, G., Siderowf, A. and Tanner, C. M. (2007). Projected number of people with Parkinson disease in the most populous nations, 2005 through 2030. Neurology 68(5): 384-386
** Decision Resources Report: Huntington’s Disease (updated June 21, 2013)