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Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders

DevelRx’s consultants have more than 30 years experience in pharmaceutical R&D that include leadership roles for CNS programs at Boots Pharmaceuticals and BASF Pharma. David Heal co-founded and directed a non-clinical contract research company that supported successful development and registration of new drugs for the treatment of severe psychiatric and neurological conditions including opiate-withdrawal, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

Our work has included original research into the neurochemical pathways underlying CNS disorders and the development of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo screening strategies and animal models to evaluate the mode of action, efficacy and side effect profile of novel drugs to treat CNS disorders including treatment of substance use disorders.

With exemplary track records in academia and industry, our internationally-recognised experts can advise on all aspects of CNS R&D from early non-clinical research, non-clinical and clinical development, drug registration and Phase IV marketing.

Examples of our work in this area are given below.

Edited Books and Special Issues

Heal DJ, Smith SL, Henningfield J. Special Issue of Neuropharmacology - “CNS Stimulants”, 2014.

Elliott JM, Heal DJ, Marsden CA. “Experimental Approaches to Anxiety and Depression”. John Wiley, Chichester, 1992.

Marsden CA, Heal DJ. “Central Serotonin Receptors and Psychotropic Drugs” Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, 1992.

Heal DJ, Marsden CA. “The Pharmacology of Noradrenaline in the Central Nervous System”. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1990.

Scientific Articles

Stanford SC, Heal DJ. Catecholamines: Knowledge and understanding in the 1960s, now, and in the future. Brain Neurosci Adv, 2019; 3: 2398212818810682. doi: 10.1177/2398212818810682. Epub 2019 Jan 23. Read more...

Hutson PH, Rowley HL, Gosden J, Kulkarni RS, Slater N, Love PL, Wang Y, Heal D. The effects in rats of lisdexamfetamine in combination with olanzapine on mesocorticolimbic dopamine efflux, striatal dopamine D2 receptor occupancy and stimulus generalization to a d-amphetamine cue. Neuropharmacol, 2016; 101: 24-35. Read more...

Heal DJ, Smith SL, Henningfield JE. CNS stimulants. Neuropharmacol, 2014; 87: 1-3.

Smith SL, Heal DJ, Martin KF. KTX 0101: a potential metabolic approach to cytoprotection in major surgery and neurological disorders. CNS Drug Rev, 2005; 11: 113-140. Read more...

Smith SL, Thompson KSJ, Sargent BJ, Heal DJ. BTS 72 664 - A novel CNS drug with potential anticonvulsant, neuroprotective and antimigraine properties. CNS Drug Rev, 2001; 7: 146-171. Read more...

Cheetham SC, Heal DJ. Antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs. In: Principles of Medical Biology, Vol 14B. Bitar N, Bittar EE (Eds). pp 509-565. JAI Press, Stamford, 2000.

Heal DJ, Cheetham SC. SSRIs: Where now, where next? In: SSRIs: Past, Present and Future. Stanford SC (Ed). pp 189-220. RG Landes Company, Georgetown, 2000.

Rowley HL, Needham PL, Kilpatrick IC ,Heal DJ. A comparison of the acute effects of zotepine and other antipsychotics on rat cortical dopamine release, in vivo. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch Pharmac, 2000; 361: 187-192. Read more...

Heal DJ, Czudek C, Buckett WR. Common profile of D1 receptor antagonists and atypical antipsychotic drugs revealed by dopamine turnover studies. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiat, 1994; 18: 803-821.

Heal DJ, Luscombe GP, Martin KF. Pharmacological identification of 5-HT receptor subtypes using behavioural models. In: Central Serotonin Receptors and Psychotropic Drugs. Marsden CA, Heal DJ. (Eds). pp 56-99. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, 1992.

Heal DJ. The effects of drugs on behavioural models of central noradrenergic function. In: The Pharmacology of Noradrenaline in the Central Nervous System. Heal DJ, Marsden CA (Eds). pp. 266-315. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1990.

Green AR, Heal DJ. Effects of drugs on serotonin-mediated behavioural models. In: Neuropharmacology of Serotonin. Green AR (Ed). pp 326-365. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1985.


Kuijer E, Heal D, Bailey S, Smith S, Wonnacott S, Bailey C. Kappa opioid receptor currents in mouse paraventricular thalamus. International Narcotics Research Conference, Valencia, Spain, July 2022. See poster...

Eyerman DJ, Rowley HL, Jacobi I, Cunningham JI, Heal DJ, Dean RL, Deaver DR. Combinations of buprenorphine and samidorphan modulate glutamatergic transmission in the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus of male Wistar rats. American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Meeting, Dec 2014.

Hutson P, Rowley HL, Kulkarni RS, Heal DJ. Investigating the interaction between lisdexamfetamine and S-citalopram on monoamine neurochemistry by dual-probe microdialysis in freely moving rats – Evidence for synergistic augmentation of serotonin and dopamine efflux. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Congress, Oct 2014.

Hutson PH, Rowley HL, Kulkarni RS, Heal DJ. Determination of the monoaminergic interactions between lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) and duloxetine reveals a synergistic augmentation of dopamine efflux in the nucleus accumbens and striatum. New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) Meeting, June 2014.

Jackson HC, Rowley HL, Hackett D, Heal D. A microdialysis and behavioral comparison of lisdexamfetamine and methylphenidate in freely-moving rats. Society for Neurosciences Congress, Nov 2012.

Cheetham SC, Sood P, Prow MR, Rowley HL, Heal DJ. Profound suppression of noradrenaline, dopamine and 5-HT turnover in various regions of rat brain evoked by the α2-adrenoceptor agonist, clonidine. Society for Neurosciences Congress, Nov 2012.


British Pharmacological Society (BPS), Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) and Psychiatry Consortium joint workshop, February 2021.

Talk entitled: “Exploring the Status of Preclinical Models of Psychiatric Disorders - Their Validity and Scope for Successful Translation.”


  • Drug Abuse and Dependence
  • ADHD
  • Binge-Eating Disorder
  • Obesity and Metabolic Disorders
  • Psychedelics and Cannabinoids

Get in touch to find out how we can help you.