Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug market will grow from $2.5 billion in 2002 to more than $9 billion in 2012. A major factor contributing to growth over the next ten years will be an increase in the number of diagnosed patients, as patients who have been infected with HCV for more than 15 years present with advanced liver disease. Additional growth will come from the ever-expanding population of patients who did not respond to initial therapy, and are increasingly being retreated with a second course of interferon/ribavirin therapy and/or emerging antivirals, according to a new Pharmacor study entitled Hepatitis C.

The study also found that Schering-Plough and Roche's PEG-IFN-alpha products will benefit from increased uptake in the near term owing to their improved clinical efficacy.

"Hepatitis C represents a high-growth opportunity for the biopharmaceutical industry over the next decade," said John Lebbos M.D., senior analyst at Decision Resources. "The HCV diagnosed patient population is expected to expand significantly and there remains a high unmet need: the combination PEG-IFN/ribavirin, which is the current standard of therapy, is associated with significant side effects and is not effective in a large subset of patients."

Disease Facts-Hepatitis C

The vast majority of HCV-infected individuals have few or no symptoms and therefore remain unaware of their disease. In fact, a significant proportion of individuals infected with HCV die with rather than from this infection. The fact that HCV is associated with a relatively low direct mortality contributes to the continued debate among experts about who should and should not receive treatment for chronic hepatitis C.

About Pharmacor from Decision Resources

Pharmacor is a unique family of studies based on primary and secondary research conducted by Decision Resources' on-staff experts. Each comprehensive study assesses a host of market-impacting factors and analyzes the commercial outlook for drugs in research and development. Cardium, Cognos, Immune and Inflammatory Disorders, Infectious Disease, Metabolic Disorders, Psychiatric Disorders, and Onkos concentrate on specific therapeutic areas. Mosaic covers high-interest disease states. Hepatitis C is an Infectious Disease study.

About Decision Resources

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. The company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at www.decisionresources.com.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall    Decision Resources, Inc.    781-296-2563    emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.,

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall for Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-
2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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