Decision Resources announced today the availability of a new report entitled Hepatitis C, which finds the market for Hepatitis C treatments to be poised for dramatic growth. The report forecasts that sales of pharmaceuticals to treat people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) will increase almost threefold between 2001 and 2011 in the major pharmaceutical markets (the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan), growing from $1.7 billion in 2001 to a projected $6.6 billion in 2011.

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The report concludes that there are three major reasons for the significant growth of hepatitis C treatments: widespread acceptance of pegylated interferons in treating HCV-infected patients; improved clinical efficacy of HCV drugs; and higher treatment rates among HCV-infected patients.

Major Market Players

Schering-Plough's PEG-Intron and Hoffmann-La Roche's Pegasys (both are pegylated interferons) will compete for HCV market leadership between 2001 and 2011. According to the report, Schering-Plough currently appears to have an edge, due to the earlier launch of its pegylated interferon, PEG-Intron, in 2001. However, Hoffmann-La Roche's Pegasys, which will launch in 2002, could capture 50-60% of interferon sales for hepatitis C in the seven major pharmaceutical markets by 2011.

"Pegasys from Hoffmann-La Roche, even though it is second to market, is going to give Schering-Plough a formidable test of its marketing muscle when the agent is launched later this year," says Julia Bradsher, Decision Resources' therapeutic area director for infectious disease. "Pegasys will have an upper hand because of its effectiveness in difficult-to-treat patient groups."

About the Disease -- Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus is spread through blood. It can infect people for long periods without causing obvious symptoms, but prolonged inflammation eventually damages the liver. Healthy cells are replaced by scar tissue that can keep the organ from functioning properly. Deaths from the disease could triple over the next 20 years, as old infections reach clinical stages. Eighty percent of carriers suffer chronic liver inflammation and minor scarring of the organ while 20% develop cirrhosis of the liver within 20 years.

Pharmacor

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. Hepatitis C is the latest Infectious Disease program from Pharmacor.

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 25 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at http://www.dresources.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    781-296-2563    emarshall@dresources.com 

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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

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