Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis/Idenix, and Gilead are all poised to become dominant players in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) drug market with new agents that have improved efficacy and activity against lamivudine-resistant HBV. A new Pharmacor study, entitled Hepatitis B Virus, forecasts that competition in the HBV market will dramatically increase as Bristol-Myers Squibb's entecavir, Gilead's emtricitabine, and Novartis/Identix's telbivudine all vie for market share. These agents also have the potential to be used in combination with each other, limiting the development of drug resistance and expanding the overall HBV market.

"A key challenge for biopharmaceutical manufacturers competing in the HBV drug market will be to develop agents that can provide long-term sustained activity, meaning either products that have a low predisposition to development of resistance or agents that induce an immune response that can effectively control viral infection," said John Lebbos, M.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Developing therapeutic vaccines that can induce a cell- medicated response that effectively clears infection would be highly welcome. However, in the near term, HBV therapy is likely to be limited to antiviral agents and PEG-interferon."

About Hepatitis B

HBV infection remains a relatively underdeveloped market compared with those for other chronic viral infections, such as HIV and herpes simplex virus. This market offers significant opportunity for drug developers because of the large, undiagnosed, chronically infected HBV population; the need for long-term therapy; and an increasing recognition of the need for HBV-infected patients to be treated.

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 B Virus is an Infectious Disease study.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources 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 more than 30 years, and assesses 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 of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-
2563, emarshall@dresources.com

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