Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that the market to treat hepatitis B virus (HBV) will expand more than three-fold in the next decade as recently launched novel therapies as well as drugs currently in late-stage development will take advantage of increasing rates of HBV resistance to GlaxoSmithKline's Epivir-HBV/Zeffix (lamivudine). Several leading pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, Novartis/Idenix, and Roche, will vie to compete in the market to treat HBV.

The new Pharmacor report entitled Hepatitis B Virus finds that the uptake of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Baraclude (entecavir), Gilead's Hepsera (adefovir dipivoxil), and Novartis/Idenix's telbivudine will be driven by an increase in diagnosis rates during the 2005-2015 study period. The report also finds that one of the most critical unmet needs in treating the virus continues to be the development of an agent with a mechanism of action that would eliminate HBV infection.

"A critical unmet need and the primary goal of HBV drug development is a therapy that can increase the rate of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) clearance/seroconversion, a result that indicates a patient has cleared the infection and has been cured," said Aaron Woolsey, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources, Inc. "Although Roche's Pegasys is the only available therapy that has demonstrated potential to induce HBsAg clearance, experts do not expect that the therapies in the current HBV pipeline will offer substantial improvements over existing therapies in achieving this critical clinical end point."

About Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B virus represents a substantial global burden in terms of both morbidity and mortality. More than 2 billion people worldwide are estimated to have been infected with HBV, and 350-400 million people are chronically infected.

About Decision Resources

Decision Resources, Inc., (http://www.decisionresources.com/) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.

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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