The older population of the United States and Europe has been rapidly expanding and the pace of expansion will increase in the next few years. Those individuals born between the end of the Second World War to 1960 fall into a group called the baby-boom generation and comprise over 70 million individuals. Because of the improvement in therapeutics and medical care, life expectancy continues to increase and older Americans and Europeans face the new challenges of geriatric conditions. Beyond cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, disorders of the aging nervous system loom large in determining the ability of these individuals to lead full and independent lives. At present, about one in eight individuals in the United States is 65 years of age. Over the next 20 years, this proportion will increase to one in five. Many of these individuals are at risk for Alzheimer's disease, stroke and Parkinson's disease that can lead to impairment of memory function - and 16% are expected to suffer age-associated memory impairment (AAMI). DNS's mission is to address this largely unmet medical need by becoming the leading specialized pharmaceutical company for memory disorders.
Drugs selected for DNS's development pipeline will either be first-in-class for new targets, or best in class. The Company recognizes the high failure rate of candidate drugs from early discovery through FDA approval, in general, and particularly when pursuing novel molecular mechanisms and targets with little clinical histories. To mitigate these odds, DNS will pursue into the clinic a minimum of two candidate drugs for each of several protein targets. DNS currently has three drugs in clinical studies and drug programs for 10 additional innovative targets in earlier stages of discovery. DNS will fuel its drug development pipeline on a continuing basis with new tragets discovered from DNS's ongoing neurobiological research.