Decision Resources, Inc., announces the publication of Strategic Overview of Women's Health Markets. This study focuses on five significant women's health conditions affecting pre- and post-menopausal women worldwide: breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, female infertility, and menopause. The sheer size of the prevalent populations of these five indications and consequent market opportunities will drive continued expansion of R&D activities. In this study, we analyze agents in development for each indication and rate them by innovation levels.

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Our assessment of the unmet needs in each of the five indications ranks breast cancer the highest; correspondingly, it has the highest level of R&D intensity. Despite the long-standing benefits of tamoxifen (AstraZeneca's Nolvadex), the persistence of unmet needs for preventive and curative therapies has lead to an intensely competitive R&D landscape heavily focused on innovative treatments. The introduction of trastuzumab (Genentech's Herceptin) has raised hope for additional specific therapeutic approaches. Future market growth will be driven by the increasing role of aromatase inhibitors, taxanes, and novel therapies.

The ovarian cancer market poses significant unmet needs for increasing survival and preventing relapse. For the foreseeable future, Bristol-Myers Squibb will continue to dominate the treatment market with a first-line therapy utilizing a combination of a platinum agent with paclitaxel (Taxol).

The osteoporosis market has entered a new realm of opportunity with alendronate (Merck's Fosamax) and raloxifene (Eli Lilly's Evista). Raloxifene continues to be studied in clinical trials to evaluate its benefits on fracture prevention, breast cancer prevention, and cardiovascular protection. Depending on clinical outcomes, raloxifene could reach $2 billion in peak-year sales. However, opportunities still exist for bone-building agents and improved second-generation molecules able to manage hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms without the risk of breast or endometrial cancer associated with classic estrogen therapy.

The market for hormone replacement therapy regimens to alleviate the symptoms of menopause will increase because of low barriers to entry in this market and patient receptivity to new combination agents. Additionally, as the aging population proliferates, market growth is inevitable.

The needs of the female infertility market have been addressed largely through the recent development of recombinant gonadotropins. The combination of surgical intervention opportunities and growing utilization of existing treatments presents limited possibilities for new pharmaceutical treatments.

Our analysis of key emerging therapies revealed that selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) hold significant promise for solving the treatment needs of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, and breast cancer prevention. Separately, the abundance of monoclonal antibody, vaccine, or gene therapy approaches in development promise to deliver more-specific therapies that carry dramatic improvement in treatment strategies for women suffering from cancer. Biomira's Theratope for breast cancer and Antisoma's Theragyn and Schering-Plough's p53 gene therapy for ovarian cancer are a few of the potential new remedies on the horizon.

Strategic Overview of Women's Health Markets is part of Mosaic, one of six Pharmacor services that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

Contact: Frank Sama, 781.487.3753 (telephone), 781.487.5750 (fax), or (e-mail). In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or (e-mail). In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or (e-mail).

Decision Resources, Inc., is a world leader in research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Founded as a subsidiary of Arthur D. Little, Inc., the company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends.


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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, Inc., 781-487-3753

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