Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the launch of new therapies and increased uptake of currently marketed agents will drive robust annual 5.2 percent growth in the neuropathic pain drug market through 2017.

The new Pharmacor report entitled Neuropathic Pain finds that the launch of 13 new therapies by 2017 will be the key driver of market growth as the shortcomings in efficacy and/or tolerability of current agents will promote rapid uptake of new drugs that provide novel mechanisms of action and improved side-effects profiles. Two of the most notable emerging agents for neuropathic pain are Johnson & Johnson/Grunenthal's dual-acting opioid Tapentadol ER and UCB's novel antiepileptic Vimpat. According to the report, market growth will also be driven by increased uptake of Pfizer's Lyrica, Eli Lilly/Boehringer Ingelheim's Cymbalta/Xeristar/Ariclaim and Endo Pharmaceutical's Lidoderm/Grunenthal's Versatis.

The largest pain market segments are neuropathic back pain, painful diabetic neuropathy and neuropathic cancer pain with drug sales for these indications accounting for more than two-thirds of the total neuropathic pain market in 2007. According to the report, significant opportunity exists for second-line therapies in the neuropathic pain market, as interviewed experts indicate that leading first-line therapies fail in nearly half of patients.

"Although none of the emerging agents will displace key first-line therapies, they will benefit from use as second-line therapies by pain specialists for patients with refractory pain or who are unable to tolerate currently available first-line therapies," said Sami Fam, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Among these agents, Tapentadol ER and Vimpat will be the most successful as each drug will earn peak-year, major-market sales of $250 to $500 million."

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Contact: Christopher Comfort of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2597, or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc.,

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