Stroke is the third leading cause of death in North America and Western Europe and the most common cause of neurological disability worldwide. The clinical and personal consequences of stroke are dramatic; approximately 10% of people who suffer an ischemic stroke (IS) will die within 30 days. Of those who survive the acute event, approximately half will continue to experience some level of disability six months following the event.

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Ischemic Stroke is a new study published by Decision Resources, Inc., that details the incidence and prevalence of IS in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Japan). This study discusses current and investigational cardiovascular and neuroprotective compounds, outlines diagnostic and treatment protocols, and provides a ten-year (1998-2008) market forecast for acute and secondary preventive therapies for IS, as well as alternative market scenarios based on the likelihood of key events.

Experts interviewed for this study express great interest in developmental agents that open potassium channels (e.g., Bristol-Myers Squibb's BMS-204352), trap free radicals (e.g., Daiichi's Ebselen), reduce cerebral inflammation (e.g., Pfizer/Corvas's UK-279,276), or inhibit apoptosis. However, AstraZeneca's new drug candidate clomethiazole (Zendra) has shown the most promising results to date. The success of Zendra in the subset of IS patients with large infarct strokes is a tribute to innovative clinical trial design. Stratification of patients into neurologically defined subgroups is an inventive feature of neuroprotective drug trial design that thought leaders believe should be more widely employed. Experts are also enthusiastic about the potential of diffusion-weighted imaging/perfusion imaging (DWI/PI) MRI to improve the design of clinical trials for neuroprotective agents for IS.

Despite these advances, we believe that only clomethiazole will gain market approval during our 1998-2008 forecast period, and we estimate relatively modest seven-market peak-year sales of $150-$250 million because we believe the drug will benefit only specific patient subgroups. Sales of agents for IS therapy totaled $771 million in the major markets in 1998, and we expect that combined sales of acute and secondary preventive therapies will reach nearly $1.5 billion in 2008.

Ischemic Stroke is part of Cognos, one of six Pharmacor services that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

Contact: Frank Sama, 781.487.3753 (telephone), 781.487.5750 (fax), or sama@dresources.com (e-mail). In Europe, contact Ms. Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or fbidart@compuserve.com (e-mail). In Japan, contact Ms. Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or makiko@bl.mmtr.or.jp (e-mail). http://www.dresources.com

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 industry trends in the international health care and pharmaceutical industries.

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, Inc., 781-487-3753,
sama@dresources.com

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