Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Boehringer Ingelheim's extended-release formulation of pramipexole (pramipexole ER), which launched late last year in Europe and is expected to launch this year in the United States, will garner peak year sales of $250 to $500 million in the world's major pharmaceutical markets.

The Pharmacor finding from the topic entitled Parkinson's Disease reveals that the uptake of pramipexole ER will be constrained by the expected 2010 launch of generic formulations of its predecessor, pramipexole immediate-release (IR) (Boehringer Ingelheim's Mirapex/Mirapexin/Sifrol), as well as competition from ropinirole CR (GlaxoSmithKline/SkyePharma's Requip XL/LP/RP/Modutab) and generic ropinirole IR. However, physician familiarity with the pramipexole brand, combined with physician and patient preference for once daily dosing, will drive significant uptake of pramipexole ER.

"Given physician comfort in prescribing pramipexole for Parkinson's disease and the convenience of once-daily dosing that it would offer, we expect that pramipexole ER will take much of pramipexole IR's patient share," said Decision Resources Analyst Sami Fam, Ph.D. "In the short term, we expect pramipexole ER will lose some patient share to ropinirole CR given that ropinirole CR was the first of the two agents to launch. But over the long term, physicians' slight preference for pramipexole over ropinirole should help to boost pramipexole ER's uptake."

In addition to pramipexole ER, the drug market for Parkinson's disease will be driven by the recent re-launch in Europe of UCB/Schwarz Pharma's Neupro. In 2008, UCB/Schwarz Pharma had recalled rotigotine in the U.S. as well as certain batches of the agent in Europe due to drug crystallization issues. After announcing it had resolved the issue, UCB/Schwarz Pharma re-launched Neupro in Europe in 2009 and the drug is expected to be re-launched in the U.S. in 2010. Sales of Neupro are forecast to reach nearly $200 million in 2018 in the U.S. and Europe.

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CONTACT: Christopher Comfort of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2597,; or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,

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