Asthma is a new Decision Resources study that addresses key issues involved in the development of drugs targeting this indication. This study reports on a wealth of research into the pathophysiology of asthma that has led to the identification of novel, more highly refined drug targets. These targets may allow researchers to develop drugs that have more-specific mechanisms of action and possibly can prevent disease.

  (Photo: )    The Therapeutic Pipeline-Compounds Aim at Novel Targets 

We expect that omalizumab (Genentech/Roche and Tanox Biosystems/Novartis's Xolair), the first in a new class of monoclonal antibodies targeting immunoglobulin E (IgE), will make the largest impact on the asthma market. Clinical trials have demonstrated that Xolair reduces the number of asthma exacerbations by 50%, improves quality-of-life scores and symptoms, and reduces the need for corticosteroids. Many experts appear very optimistic about its potential for treating allergic asthma and other IgE-mediated diseases, such as allergic rhinitis.

Many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are developing anti- interleukin agents, which are thought to offer two potential mechanisms of action for treating the underlying inflammation associated with asthma- inhibiting antibody production and restricting eosinophil migration into the lung.

  GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca's Combination Agents Will Compete   Head-to-Head 

Inhaled corticosteroids dominate the asthma market. In the future, however, long-acting beta2 agonist/ corticosteroid combination agents, such as GlaxoSmithKline's Advair/Seretide and AstraZeneca's Symbicort, will wrest away market share from the single-agent inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta2 agonists. Both combination agents offer more- convenient treatment regimens, which may improve patient compliance.

Schering-Plough's Mometasone Furoate Is Poised to Capture Market Share

Some experts suggest that Schering-Plough's mometasone furoate is the most promising new corticosteroid in development citing its once-daily inhaled administration and superior safety profile. We believe that mometasone furoate is well positioned to win acceptance as a therapy for newly diagnosed patients and patients in whom current therapies are not effective; to some extent, it may also replace older corticosteroid therapies.

Asthma 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

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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