One trend worth tracking is the recent flow of venture capital toward Central Nervous System (CNS) research. Last year, the sourcing platform Life Science Nation reported that drug discovery deals doubled in CNS from 2011—while declining about 12% in oncology, which has seen a downward trend in deal activity. Oncology still leads the pack, of course, but indications are that CNS—one of the hottest activity sectors—could soon overtake oncology. It’s not hard to decipher why. Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates that the number of people worldwide affected by dementia will triple by 2050, reaching an astounding 135 million people. In a separate report cited earlier this year by the trade journal Fierce Biotech, Silicon Valley Bank found that while oncology remains one of the hottest fields in mergers and acquisitions in the industry, cancer drugs dropped off the list of the top 5 disease fields for start-ups, while CNS/pain research rose to the top of the list.   – Wendy Metz, Global Marketing Manager, Discovery Research Services at Charles River Wilmington.