VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (VSTA) Offers Solution to a Critical Pharmaceutical Industry Problem

VistaGen, developer of stem cell technologies for improved drug testing, has emphasized that using stem cell-based bioassay systems could save pharmaceutical developers tremendous amounts of money through the use of accurate early drug testing. It would help prevent companies from spending millions and sometimes billions of dollars to bring a new drug to market only to find that it has heart or liver toxicity issues. The extremely high, and growing, cost of new drug research and development makes such potential savings a major market factor for VistaGen.
The R&D challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry were brought home at a recent trade-group conference, where executives had a chance to talk about the pressure they are under to come up with new products, due in part to the large number of currently marketed drugs that will lose their patents in coming years, allowing competitors to bring out cheaper generic brands. It has been estimated that the result could be a loss of perhaps as much as $80 billion in sales. Ironically, just as the need for new drugs is growing, some companies are being forced to scale back on their R&D budgets in a desperate effort to reduce costs as sales shift to generic brands.

Another problem facing the industry is the general weakness of the economy, which has hurt venture capital sources and start-up company growth. Such companies are important to large pharmaceuticals as a source-bed for new ideas. VistaGen is an example of a developing company that has managed to keep its funding intact, but many companies aren’t so fortunate. And the industry continues to struggle with the lengthy FDA approval process and an approval rate that has dropped dramatically in the last couple of decades.

VistaGen, by offering a way to significantly reduce the risk of major losses, represents one of the few bright lights in the drug development industry. The early and accurate testing that VistaGen’s technologies allow means that developers can be sure that they are headed down the correct path as they invest the huge sums of money it takes to bring a drug to market.

For additional information, visit the company’s website at

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