All eyes have been on the first selective COX-2 inhibitors, celecoxib (Pharmacia and Pfizer's Celebrex) and rofecoxib (Merck's Vioxx), for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) since their respective launches in 1999 and 2000. In the United States, particularly, both products experienced meteoric uptake and broke first-year pharmaceutical sales records. Osteoarthritis, a new study from Decision Resources, Inc., explains why the OA drug market remains open to innovation despite the tremendous commercial impact of the selective COX-2 inhibitors, and identifies where the areas of opportunity lie in this market.

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This study finds that the major drivers of future market growth will be the selective COX-2 inhibitors. Pharmacia and Pfizer's Celebrex and Merck's Vioxx have taken considerable market share from classic NSAIDs in the past two years. With the successes of celecoxib and rofecoxib fresh in everyone's minds, investigators are working on second-generation selective COX-2 inhibitors for OA.

Of the therapies in development, the most advanced is valdecoxib, a selective COX-2 inhibitor from Pharmacia and Pfizer. Thought leaders interviewed for this study say valdecoxib and other emerging selective COX-2 inhibitors promise to have fewer GI side effects than classic NSAIDs; unfortunately, these agents do not offer any improvement in pain control.

Osteoarthritis offers invaluable market intelligence for pharmaceutical companies developing drugs to treat this indication. This study is part of Mosaic, one of six Pharmacor services available from Decision Resources that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

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 international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at http://www.dresources.com/.

Contact Frank Sama, 781.296.2553 (tel), 781.296.2550 (fax), or sama@dresources.com.

In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (tel), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or fbidart@decisionresources.be.

In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (tel), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or makiko@bl.mmtr.or.jp.

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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