Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that for more than a decade the acute ischemic stroke market has been a virtual "graveyard" for drug development as only one therapy, Genentech's Activase, has been approved in all major markets, and no new pharmacotherapies are expected to launch between now and 2016.

The new Pharmacor report Acute Ischemic Stroke finds that, following the recent failure of Paion/Forest/Lundbeck's novel thrombolytic desmoteplase in a late-stage trial and the demise of AstraZeneca/Renovis's neuroprotectant NXY-059, few agents in the pipeline are poised to improve the treatment of this disease in the near term. As a result, drug-treatment rates in acute ischemic stroke will increase less than 1% annually through 2016.

The report also finds that, despite being the standard of care, Genentech's Activase is administered to less than 3% of patients diagnosed with acute ischemic stroke across the world's major pharmaceutical markets -- the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan. Although the immediate future of stroke treatment will be best served by broadening the use of Activase as well as innovative devices and drug/device combinations, larger numbers of dedicated stroke centers and earlier patient arrival times will be needed for wide-ranging improvement in treatment.

"Greater public awareness about stroke warning signs and the need for timely treatment, coupled with better-integrated stroke care services, will boost the number of patients who are eligible for -- and ultimately receive -- acute stroke treatment, in particular reperfusion therapies," said Jonathan Searles, analyst at Decision Resources. "Additionally, although neuroprotection remains a critical and potentially lucrative target for development, the demise of NXY-059 renders the near-term future of this approach bleak."*

*To hear an in-depth interview with analyst Jonathan Searles regarding acute ischemic stroke, visit the 'Find Out More' section of our home page at

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