Drug collaboration to target psychiatric disorders

Pictured: The collaboration with Takeda aims to develop new drugs. Source: Wikipedia

By Lucy Bull

Cardiff University is collaborating with Takeda, one of the top twenty pharmaceutical companies in the world, to discover new approaches to treat psychiatric disorders. Psychiatric conditions include schizophrenia, psychosis, and mental disorder, all of which cause a major decrease in personal functioning and significant distress to those affected.

Takeda, the largest pharmaceutical company in Asia, will utilise the university’s genomic data, psychiatric genetics, genomics and neuroscience resources in order to partner in a drug discovery to treat psychiatric disorders.

Professor Lawrence Wilkinson, who is the Scientific Director of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI), and Professor Jeremy Hall, Director and Research Theme Lead of NMHRI will both be responsible for co-leading the partnership at Cardiff University.

Professor Wilkinson highlighted the immense possibility of establishing advanced drug treatments for psychiatric disorders due to the “recent developments in psychiatric genetics and genomes” and the “advances in neuroscience”.

Takeda has been outstanding in drug discovery development since 1970’s, when they first entered the pharmaceutical market in the United States, stating this collaboration with Cardiff is a “unique opportunity to create new waves of medicines”.

Furthermore, this innovative collaboration permits Takeda access to world leading research into biological psychiatry at Cardiff University, including world class expertise from the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetic and Genomics as well as the Brain Repair and Intracranial Neurotherapeutics (BRAIN) Unit.

Professor Sir Michael Owen, Emeritus Director of NMHRI, stated that the therapeutic progress for psychiatric disorders is due to the “lack of understanding of their primary causes”, however Professor Owen further declared how Cardiff University has successfully “led genetic advances in the last decade” in understanding psychiatric disorders.

Around 450 million people are thought to be currently suffering from mental health disorders and one in four individuals are affected according to the World Health Organisation. This makes it imperative that treatments are found for those suffering, which this promising Cardiff University-Takeda collaboration aims to address.

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