Obesity is a new study published by Decision Resources, Inc., that reviews current and emerging drugs to treat obesity and evaluates their commercial prospects over a 1999-2009 study period. Our analysis is based on the most recent events in obesity drug development. For example, in July 2000, Roche issued an unofficial warning that sales of orlistat (Xenical), in contrast to many analysts' projections, had slowed in the second quarter of 2000, and the number of new and refill prescriptions had dropped. In addition, Knoll received approval of a method- of-use patent that will extend the market exclusivity of Meridia (sibutramine) for obesity until 2009. Also, the development of beta3-adrenoceptor (B3A) agonists in Europe has stagnated in the past six months. These developments lead us to conclude the following:

  -- We believe that the second-quarter results that prompted Roche's   warning are a sign of trouble, and that sales of orlistat will weaken over   our forecast period.  The percentage of drug-treated patients receiving   orlistat will decline steadily, especially as sibutramine is launched in   Europe and Japan.    -- We expect the price of sibutramine to remain stable in the United   States, France, and Germany, because the method-of-use patent is not   expected to expire until 2009.  In Japan, we expect the price of the   branded drug to decrease slightly because of reference pricing practices.    -- For the United States, we expect sales of B3A agonists to reach $36.1   million in 2004, based on the fact that the two drugs (Pfizer's CP-331684   and Lederle's CL-316243) currently in Phase II development may reach the   market in 2004 or earlier, and that they may find a receptive market,   given the decline in orlistat's popularity.  In Europe, we expect that B3A   agonists will enter the market in the second half of our study period, but   their late entry will make them minor players in overall European market   share through 2009.    -- We estimate that major-market sales of pharmaceutical treatments for   obesity totaled $490 million in 1999.  The continued uptake of sibutramine   and orlistat will drive most of the 10% annual growth we expect over our   1999-2009 forecast period.  We anticipate that sales of obesity drugs will   grow to $1.0 billion in 2004 and then level off by 2009, when sales will   reach $1.3 billion.  

Obesity is part of Mosaic, 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 sama@dresources.com (e-mail). In Europe, contact Ms. Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (telephone), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or fbidart@compuserve.com (e-mail). In Japan, contact Ms. Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (telephone), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or makiko@bl.mmtr.or.jp (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 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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