A brief but valuable blog post:
--from SciCurious at the Scientific American blog offers some very valuable insights on the recent failure of the antidepressant reboxetine, as we previously reviewed:
What SciCurious adds to our understanding is that the failure of reboxetine is an even bigger setback for research and drug development than would be evident from the failure of a single drug. The problem is that based on everything you can do in the test tube and in lab rats, reboxetine should be the best antidepressant since sliced bread. It jumps thru all the hoops that scientists have long relied on to screen substances for possible antidepressant effects in humans. The fact that a drug passes all these tests and then doesn't work in humans means that the tests are now seriously called into question--as are the basic scientific theories of neurotransmitter function that the tests are based on. In a previous post I briefly alluded to Leo and Lacasse's excellent work in exposing the flaws in the serotonin theory of depression:
It now seems even more likely that we need to go back to the drawing board in figuring out what exact sort of "chemical imbalance," if any, depression really represents, and how that relates to finding better drugs for it. This example simply highlights what really hard work it is to find good new drugs. It's sad that an industry that used to be really good at finding these drugs seems so seriously to have gotten out of the business--as reviewed in the most recent post befoere this.