Decision Resources, Inc., announces the publication of Hepatitis B Virus, a new study that explains why, despite considerable progress in the prevention and treatment of this disease, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) market remains open to innovation, particularly for therapies to treat chronically infected patients. This study evaluates the therapeutic and commercial potential of promising agents and vaccines expected to fill this gap during the next decade.

  (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000303/DECISION )    Antiviral Agents Generate Excitement In the Medical Community 

Antiviral agents are the most promising drugs in development for the treatment of chronic HBV infection. They suppress HBV DNA replication and reduce the risk of liver damage over the course of chronic infection. The 1998 launch of GlaxoSmithKline's lamivudine, the first antiviral agent approved for chronic HBV infection, sparked a revolutionary change in the treatment of this disease. Lamivudine is administered orally, is relatively inexpensive, and has no apparent serious side effects, resulting in the widespread use of lamivudine for chronic HBV infection. Consequently, lamivudine has taken considerable market share from interferon-alpha, previously the only drug approved for HBV. However, the recent discovery that long-term treatment with lamivudine can lead to antiviral resistant HBV has ignited the search for new antiviral agents.

Research on the human immunodeficiency virus, which has a similar mechanism of replication to that of HBV, has identified a plethora of antiviral agents that may be useful in the treatment of chronic HBV infection. Based on the published results of clinical trials and interviews with leading clinicians and researchers, we predict that emerging antiviral agents, such as Gilead Sciences' adefovir dipivoxil, which is effective against lamivudine- resistant HBV strains, and Triangle Pharmaceuticals/Abbott Laboratories' emtricitabine-both in Phase III trials-will be widely used in treating chronic hepatitis B.

Improved Prophylactic Vaccines Offer Reduced Dosage

Bio-Technology General's Bio-Hep-B and Powderject Pharmaceuticals' Hepagene, in an attempt to improve upon the efficacy of existing HBV prophylactic vaccines, are incorporating the S antigen and other surface proteins of the virus to enable successful immunization with significantly lower doses of vaccine than is possible with other recombinant hepatitis B vaccines.

Hepatitis B Virus is part of Infectious Disease, 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 http://www.dresources.com/.

   Contact: Frank Sama, 781.296.2553 (telephone), 781.296.2525 (fax), or    sama@dresources.com.    In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone),    +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or fbidart@decisionresources.be.    In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone),    +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or makiko@bl.mmtr.or.jp.                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here              http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X74173455 

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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

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

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