Rheumatoid Arthritis is a new Decision Resources study that assesses investigational therapies in early- and late-stage development to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and offers critical strategic analysis to help companies competing in this market to position their products.

  (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000303/DECISION )    Biologics Revolutionize RA Treatment 

The anti-TNF inhibitors etanercept (Immunex/American Home Product's Enbrel) and infliximab (Centocor/Schering-Plough's Remicade) were the first approved drugs to show that regulating specific immune mediators involved in the pathophysiology of RA can halt the progression of joint damage. New anticytokine agents that will generate healthy competition are expected to enter the market in the next five years. One that has recently received FDA approval is Amgen's anakinra (Kineret), an IL-1 receptor antagonist that has been approved for treating the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe RA. Approximately 30% of patients receiving TNF inhibitors are treatment- refractory, a factor that is likely to facilitate the market penetration of anakinra.

Novel Anti-TNF Inhibitors Demonstrate Considerable Promise

Abbott Laboratories' D2E7 (adalimumab), a fully human monoclonal antibody in late-stage development, is drawing great interest from clinical experts who expect it to compete with etanercept and infliximab. D2E7, which is administered by subcutaneous injection every other week, has completed Phase III trials and is expected to be available in the first half of 2003. In addition, CDP-870, a novel TNF inhibitor from Celltech/Pharmacia currently in phase II clinical trials has demonstrated promising therapeutic potential. If these results are corroborated by Phase III trials with SC administration, the convenience of the drug will be superior to that of etanercept because of its less frequent dosing regimen. As an antibody fragment, CDP-870 could be produced at approximately 5-10% of the cost of manufacturing a fusion protein or a MAb. Thus, the manufacturers of this agent could potentially have a substantial pricing advantage that would translate into accelerated market uptake.

Research and Development Efforts for Second-Generation COX-2 Inhibitors

In 2000, Merck and Pharmacia/Pfizer led the RA symptomatic market, thanks to their introduction of the first two COX-2 inhibitors (Vioxx and Celebrex, respectively). These companies are trying to maintain their market leadership by relying on strong sales forces and by filling their development pipelines with next-generation compounds. However, the therapeutic value of the novel COX-2 inhibitors in development remains to be seen.

Rheumatoid Arthritis offers invaluable strategic intelligence for companies competing in this market. This study is part of the Immune and Inflammatory Disorders portfolio, one of six Pharmacor services that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

Decision Resources, Inc., is a world leader in pharmaceutical 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. Visit the Decision Resources Web site at http://www.dresources.com/.

Contact: Frank Sama, 781.296.2553 (telephone), 781.296.2550 (fax), or sama@dresources.com.

In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or fbidart@decisionresources.be.

In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or makiko@bl.mmtr.or.jp.

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-2553,
sama@dresources.com

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