Decision Resources Inc., announces a new report titled Markets for Therapeutic Modification of Cell-Signaling Pathways: Cancer, Diabetes, and Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases. Drugs that target cell-signaling pathways are now in clinical and preclinical research. The challenge of this research now, and in the future, is to understand the relationships between pathways in the dysfunctional cells responsible for disease, and to intervene at the specific points in the pathways relevant to the disease, while leaving unmolested the pathways associated with normal cell functions, thus avoiding side effects. In this report we assess the commercial potential of this promising technology in three major disease areas:

 (Photo:    Cancer 

Most drugs in development for treatment of cancer have targeted the inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), the reticular activating system (Ras) pathway, cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs), or several well- characterized oncoproteins such as Ras, Bcl-2, c-Myc, and c-Myb. Approximately 20 drugs in clinical development, based on the inhibition of specific components of signal pathways in tumor cells, are described in this report. The first agents that specifically target signal transduction pathways should become available during the next five years. These will include Iressa (AstraZeneca), Flavopiridol (Aventis) CEP-701 (Cephalon), STI-571 (Novartis), SU-101 (Sugen), CP-358774 (Osi/Pfizer), and Apomine (Symphar). These agents will contribute to the sales of low-molecular-weight, organic compounds that will be dominated by angiogenesis inhibitors and highly potent cytotoxic drugs.

Type 2 Diabetes

Development of new drugs for type 2 diabetes will focus on activation of the insulin signal pathways in adipocyte and muscle cells, with the goal of lowering insulin resistance. Current research effort is concentrated on activation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), and at least nine drugs that target the PPAR-gamma (PPAR-g) receptor are currently in clinical trials. Other interesting approaches to type 2 diabetes therapy involve increasing the kinase activity of the insulin receptor, or developing molecules that increase the metabolism of glucose in cells independently of insulin (insulin mimetics).

Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

The future treatment of inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases will rely heavily on agents designed to inhibit specific components of signaling pathways associated with activation of lymphocytes. Another approach will be to protect healthy cells from the pro-apoptotic actions of dysfunctional cytotoxic T lymphocytes by interfering with cytokine-induced signaling pathways. The development of novel, low-molecular-weight, organic molecule inhibitors of ZAP kinases (expressed in T lymphocytes and natural killer cells) and of caspases (components of signal pathways that trigger apoptosis) is another promising approach. This report describes the activity of 20 companies developing products for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that are based on the modulation of signal pathways, although no products have, as yet, reached clinical trials.

Biotech companies taking leading roles in developing low-molecular-weight, organic compounds include Cephalon, Hybridon, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Kinetek Pharmaceuticals, Sugen, Symphar, Agouron, Celltech Chiroscience, Cyclacel, Inex, Mitotix, Rigel, Ontogen, Osi Pharmaceuticals, Signal Pharmaceuticals, Idun, Inflazyme, Kinetix, Repligen, and Vertex.

Markets for Therapeutic Modification of Cell-Signaling Pathways: Cancer, Diabetes, and Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases is a DR Report published by Decision Resources, Inc. This report is available for $3200.00. 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. Founded as a subsidiary of Arthur D. Little, Inc., the company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends.

Contact: Cindy Ohlman, 781.487.3721 (telephone), 781.487.3735 (fax), or (e-mail). In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or (e-mail). In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or (e-mail).


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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Cindy Ohlman of Decision Resources, Inc., 781-487-3721,

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