Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, in the Crohn's disease drug market, the dominance of TNF-alpha inhibitors such as Abbott/Eisai's Humira and Centocor Ortho Biotech/Schering-Plough/Mitsubishi Tanabe's Remicade will continue over the next decade. Sales of Humira and Remicade, which accounted for more than three-quarters of the market in 2008, will continue to grow through 2018 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The new Pharmacor report entitled Crohn's Disease finds that, although several emerging therapies with novel mechanisms of action are expected to launch over the next decade, none will rival the efficacy - or the dominant market share - of the TNF-alpha inhibitors. Owing to increasing physician familiarity with these agents and continuing emergence of favorable post-marketing clinical trial data, TNF-alpha sales will total nearly $2.5 billion in 2018. The report also finds that the 2008 launches in the U.S. of Biogen Idec/Elan's Tysabri and UCB/Otsuka's Cimzia had a negligible impact on the Crohn's disease market. Both agents will remain relegated to second- or later-line biological therapy through 2018, behind both Humira and Remicade.

"The continued uptake of Humira will be the greatest contributor to market growth over the next five years," said Decision Resources Analyst Benjamin Guikema, Ph.D. "This is due to physician familiarity with the drug and increasing patient preference for Humira due to its convenient subcutaneous dosing."

The report also finds that the Crohn's disease drug market will be driven largely by increasing sales of maintenance therapies, while, in contrast, sales of acute therapies will remain flat through 2018. However, as there is no current therapy that is completely effective in maintaining remission of the disease, significant opportunity remains for the development of more-effective maintenance therapies.

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