VistaGen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VTGN) Seeks to Address Rising Incidence of Mental Health Disorders in United States

  • VistaGen currently developing three novel drug candidates designed to treat central nervous system disorders
  • Anxiety disorders have been found to affect 18.1% of the U.S. population; however, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment
  • Prevalence of depressive disorders in U.S. workplace is estimated to result in economic impact of over $210.5 billion per annum
  • COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these conditions, with number of patients displaying anxiety symptoms rising by 93% YoY between January – September 2020

VistaGen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: VTGN) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing a new generation of medications which go beyond the standard of care for anxiety, depression, and other central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders. Anxiety disorders have been found to be the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population. However, while most anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment (https://ibn.fm/z00SV).

Two of the most common mental health conditions, namely depression and anxiety, are estimated to cost the global economy $1 trillion each year—and these conditions have been further exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic (https://ibn.fm/tmPyO). A recent study carried out by Mental Health America found that the number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed in 2020; between January to September 2020, the number of people screening for anxiety symptoms rose by 93% relative to 2019 while those found to have symptoms of depression rose by 62% year-on-year (https://ibn.fm/rDGWQ).

Within the U.S. workforce, the prevalence of major depressive disorders (MDD) has been estimated at 7.6%, with the total economic burden now estimated to be over $210.5 billion per year. Nearly half of these costs are attributed to the work place, including absenteeism (missed days from work) as well as reduced productivity while at work, whereas 45-47% are due to direct medical costs, which are shared by employers, employees, and society (https://ibn.fm/ev3Ns).

The impact of CNS-related disorders on patient lives and the wider global economy, coupled with the potential risks associated to conventional benzodiazepine drugs – the class of medicines approved to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia and seizures—have increased the urgent need for pharmaceutical companies to develop safer alternatives to the traditional medication available to patients today.

VistaGen Therapeutics has sought to address this situation through its product portfolio, consisting of three novel drug candidates – namely, PH94B, PH10 and AV-101, which seek to target a wide variety of central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders through medications designed to present fewer side-effects relative to their commonly used peers.

PH94B is a fast-acting, non-systemic and non-sedating neuroactive nasal spray which is being developed as an acute treatment of anxiety in adults afflicted with social anxiety disorder (“SAD”). It has been designed to displace benzodiazepines – which have recently been required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to describe the risks of abuse, misuse, addiction, physical dependence and withdrawal reactions consistent to all medicines in this class (https://ibn.fm/wgF1B).

PH10 is an investigational synthetic neuroactive nasal spray in development as a potential rapid-onset therapeutic alternative in a wide range of depression-related disorders. Mental health conditions have been found to have a substantial effect on all areas of life, including socially and economically. Through the development of its three novel drug candidates, VistaGen Therapeutics has sought to address the growing need for safe and effective treatments to a disease whose spread had gone widely unchecked in recent years.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to VTGN are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/VTGN

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