An estimated 8.3 million people in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan) suffered from Alzheimer's disease (AD) in 1998. Growth in the number of senior citizens in these countries will increase the total prevalence to approximately 10.2 million in 2008. Alzheimer's Disease, new study published by Decision Resources, Inc., evaluates the clinical and commercial potential of emerging therapies to treat this devastating disease and assesses the complex environment in which they will compete.

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Changes in the treatment of AD in the next decade are expected to be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. Most thought leaders believe that the use of AChEIs will increase in the next few years, with new agents, such as galantamine (Janssen Cilag/Shire Pharmaceutical's Reminyl), offering competition to donepezil (Pfizer/Eisai's Aricept). Several experts believe that other types of cholinomimetics will complement the AChEIs, but most leading AD specialists are skeptical about the potential of cholinergic agonists. The therapeutic approach that has garnered the most enthusiasm from opinion leaders is undoubtedly amyloid inhibition. Many AD specialists hope that an alpha-, beta-, or gamma-secretase inhibitor will reach the market in the next few years. Few thought leaders are optimistic that a vaccine or gene therapy will emerge during our forecast period.

In the absence of a single cure for AD, we expect the use of a cocktail of drugs to become standard practice. An AChEI is likely to be the cornerstone of such a regimen. In the short term, established agents such as vitamin E, ERT, or a nootropic will be used in combination. New drug classes (e.g., amyloid inhibitors) will be added to the regimen as they reach the market. The most decisive influence on future medical practice, however, is likely to be cost. New agents will need to demonstrate a high degree of efficacy in order to qualify for reimbursement-a prerequisite for widespread prescribing.

Alzheimer's Disease 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 (e-mail). In Europe, contact Ms. Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or (e-mail). In Japan, contact Ms. Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or (e-mail).

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 nearly 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

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