The market for analgesic therapies for chronic pain will grow from an estimated $4.8 billion in 2000 to more than $7 billion in 2010, a trend that will be driven almost entirely by the introduction of novel drugs. Emerging Therapies in Chronic Pain, a new study from Decision Resources, Inc., demonstrates why second-generation cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors are the most commercially promising drugs of the hundreds of analgesic agents in development for pain.


The current drugs in the COX-2 class-celecoxib (Pharmacia's Celebrex) and rofecoxib (Merck's Vioxx)-have enjoyed blockbuster success. We believe the second-generation agents will continue to fuel market growth because they have shown even greater selectivity than their parent compounds for the COX-2 isoform in preclinical testing. Pfizer and Pharmacia are developing valdecoxib as a follow-on compound to celecoxib, and Merck is updating its rofecoxib with etoricoxib. Drug developers hope that these more selective, second-generation COX-2 inhibitors will offer two advantages:

  -- Further reduction in the incidence of adverse GI effects.   -- Enhanced analgesic effects because a COX-2 inhibitor with fewer GI side      effects will be more tolerable at higher doses.  

Our analysis indicates that these new drugs are likely to show only incremental improvement in clinical tolerability over current drugs. Nevertheless, the second-generation COX-2 inhibitors are primed to succeed commercially, given the success of their predecessors and the call for highly selective drug therapy in pain management. We predict that in 2010, new agents of the COX-2 class will surpass $2.4 billion in sales in the three pain markets under study (cancer pain, low-back pain, and osteoarthritis pain). Osteoarthritis will remain the strongest of these three markets for the COX-2 class. A large portion of second-generation COX-2 sales will come at the expense of sales of existing COX-2 inhibitors (celecoxib and rofecoxib), but we also expect continued expansion of the use of the COX-2 class will contribute to valdecoxib and etoricoxib's commercial success.

Emerging Therapies in Chronic Pain offers invaluable market intelligence for pharmaceutical companies competing in the chronic pain drug market, and is a part of Cognos, 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 and advisory services 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

Contact Frank Sama, 781.296.2553 (tel), 781.296.2550 (fax), or In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (tel), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (tel), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or


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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, 781-296-2553,

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