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Fighting for Mental Health

Biopharmaceutical companies are developing 135 medicines to treat mental illnesses.

Mental illnesses exact a heavy human and economic toll in the United States.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that one in five American adults and children experience a mental illness in any given year amounting to more than $317 billion annually in the U.S. in lost wages, health care expenditures and disability benefits. Over the past half century, biopharmaceutical research has helped transform this misunderstood set of diseases into often highly treatable conditions. 

However, additional therapeutic options are needed for patients not helped by existing treatments and to address unmet medical needs. Biopharmaceutical companies are working closely with patients, regulators, academia and clinicians on the cutting-edge medicine and research needed to bring new medicines to patients.

43.8 Million

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 43.8 American adults experience a mental illness in a given year. Twenty percent of children ages 13 to 18 in the United States have or will have a mental health disorder.

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Partner Collaboration

Collaboration among partners in the entire biomedical ecosystem is critical to helping advance scientific understanding of brain disorders. Some examples of key partnerships include:

One Mind: a non-profit organization that brings together a broad international coalition of scientists, advocates, philanthropists, government, and the pharmaceutical and health care industries, is dedicated to aiding the acceleration of development of new treatments for brain disorders and injury.

The White House Brain Initiative: is a public-private partnership for brain research focused on increasing our understanding of the human brain by accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies. 


Medicines in Development

Today, 135 medicines are in development by biopharmaceutical research companies to help the more than 40 million Americans suffering from some form of mental illness – from anxiety to depression and from schizophrenia to addictive disorders, such as dependence and addiction to alcohol and drugs.

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Challenges in Research for Mental Illnesses

Development of new and effective treatments for patients with mental illnesses is very challenging. There is limited understanding of how current treatments work in the brain and a need for robust and qualified biomarkers to help clinicians’ diagnose accurately, measure disease progression and assess treatment response.  America’s biopharmaceutical companies are working to advance innovative approaches in clinical trial methodology in order to advance treatments for patients with mental illnesses, especially for pediatric patients where there is such urgent need.

Medicines in the Pipeline

The 135 medicines in development are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Potential treatment advances are for conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

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Related Medicines

  • RBP-7000 (risperidone sustained release)

    RBP-7000 is a medicine in Phase III of development to treat schizophrenia.

  • aloradine (sensory receptor cell modulator)

    This medicine to treat social anxiety disorder (social phobia) has completed Phase II of development.

  • INV102 (nadolol)

    This medicine for smoking withdrawal has completed Phase II of clinical trials.

  • SNC-102 (acamprosate controlled-release)

    SNC-102 is designed to treat combat-related PTSD. It is in Phase I of clinical trials.



View additional resources to learn more about medicines currently in development to treat and prevent mental health disorders.