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8:15 am Chair’s Opening Remarks


Nick Brandon, Senior Vice President, Jnana Therapeutics

Targeting Symptoms to Develop Novel Therapeutics & Improve Patient Quality of Care

8:30 am Accounting for the Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia to Improve Patient Quality of Care


• Why cognition is a symptom to be acknowledged in neuropsychiatric drug development
• Discussing the relevance and consequences of cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia
• Considerations for the clinical assessment of cognition and its relationship to functional improvement

Andreas Meier, Senior Medical Director, Ophthalmology, Pain & New Indications, Biogen

9:00 am Symptomatic-focused Treatment – Transforming the Drug Development Approach to Neuropsychiatry


• Unmet medical needs in neuropsychiatry
• Novel treatments: the challenges ahead
• Partnering: a way to bring innovative treatments to patients

Laura Corradini, Deputy Global Head Business Development & Licensing, CNS, Boehringer Ingelheim

9:30 am The Intersection of Sleep & Neuropsychiatry


• Improving our understanding of neural activity of the brain during sleep
• Discovering the unique links between affective disorders, sleep, cognition, and
Alzheimer’s disease
• Discussing the importance of sleep in substance use disorders and other
neuropsychiatric conditions

Gary Zammit, President & Chief Executive Officer, Clinilabs Drug Development Corporation

9:45 am Morning Refreshments & Networking

Discover Tools & Approaches to More Accurately Measure Therapeutic Efficacy

10:45 am Measuring Brain Activity in Alive Awake Animals


• 2-Photon microscope allows neuronal activity to be imaged in real time and correlated with behavior
• New electrophysiology approaches are allowing larger regions of the brain to be surveyed with extra-cellular recordings

Bruce Kimmel, Chief Executive Officer, Vidrio Technologies

Case Studies: Identify & Validate Novel Targets

11:00 am The Progress in Rapid-Acting Antidepressants


• Depression remains a significant area of unmet need
• The discovery work done at Sage is demonstrating that small disruptions to GABA signaling can have far-reaching effects on mood and behavior
• As we continue to study the interplay of signaling and the response in complex neural networks, following GABA’s path is illuminating new opportunities to treat CNS disorders long seen as intractable

Al Robichaud, Chief Scientific Officer, Sage Therapeutics

11:30 am Lunch & Networking

12:30 pm KMO Inhibitors for Depression Co-Morbid with Chronic Inflammatory Disease


• Depression resistant to SSRIs is highly co-morbid with both neuroinflammatory and systemic inflammatory disease
• Inhibition of KMO prevents formation of toxic kynurenine metabolites that are the immune effectors of inflammation-associated depression
• It is essential to block KMO in microglia in the brain to realize the efficacy of KMO inhibitors

Stevin Zorn, President & Chief Executive Officer MindImmune, Therapeutics Inc

1:00 pm MGlu7 Receptor Blockade: An Evident Therapeutic Approach for Neuropsychiatric Disorders


  • The glutamatergic approach beyond NMDA receptor modulation
  • Association of GRM7 gene with various human CNS pathologies
  • mGlu7 receptor as a unique Class C GPCR target to address neuropsychiatric disorders
  • mGlu7 Negative Allosteric Modulators: from discovery to clinical candidate

Sylvain Celanire, Chief Executive Officer, Pragma Therapeutics

1:30 pm Mechanism of Action of Ketamine: Implications for Clinical Practice


• Interpreting ketamine’s opioid effects in antidepressant response
• Exploring the risk /benefit ratio of longer term use of ketamine
• What should we recommend to clinicians on the longer term use of ketamine?

Alan Schatzberg, Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

2:00 pm Afternoon Networking & Refreshments

Evaluating the Role of Genetics to Improve Neuropsychiatric Research & Drug Development

2:30 pm Reviewing the Potential for Precision Medicine in Neurological Diseases


  • With the advances in next-generation sequencing, the possibilities for genetic
    stratification of neuropsychiatric disease have great potential with both
    individual treatment optimization and clinical trial design
  • Exploring the technology advances changing the precision medicine landscape
  • Understanding which neuropsychiatric diseases would be most compatible for
    precision medicine treatment

Christopher Missling, Chief Executive Officer, CAnavex Life Sciences

3:00 pm From Human Genetics to Actionable Targets


• What have we learned from public data?
• Power of cell-type selectivity in GWAS

Daniel Hoeppner, Associate Director, Astellas

3:30 pm Panel Discussion: The Precision Medicine Approach to Neuropsychiatry – For or Against?


• How effective could precision medicine be for certain neuropsychiatric disorders?
• What are the success stories to support precision medicine?
• Where are doubts coming from?

Christopher Missling, Chief Executive Officer, Anavex Life Science

Nick Brandon, Senior Vice President , Jnana Therapeutics 

4:00 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks