Depression, a new study from Decision Resources, Inc., examines recent trends in the treatment of depression, growing generic competition within this market, critical areas of unmet need, emerging therapeutic options, and how these factors will shape the depression market over a 2000-2010 study period.

  (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000303/DECISION )   Fending Off Generic Competition 

In an effort to ward off the commercial loss following fluoxetine's U.S. patent expiration, Eli Lilly has developed Prozac Weekly, a once-a-week version of fluoxetine. With Lilly's marketing muscle behind the new product, Prozac Weekly may well capture a good portion of the depressed population who are already taking fluoxetine and who require long-term maintenance therapy. Other companies planning to market reformulated versions of their SSRIs include Lundbeck and Forest Laboratories, who market citalopram (Celexa), Elan and Solvay, who market fluvoxamine (Luvox), and GlaxoSmithKline, who market paroxetine (Paxil).

Serotonergic and Noradrenergic Reuptake Inhibitors

Eli Lilly is developing the serotonergic and noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) duloxetine for depression. Drugs that provide dual 5-HT/NE reuptake may be more potent than SSRIs in the treatment of depression, and this fact-along with Eli Lilly's marketing muscle-bodes well for duloxetine. Assuming that duloxetine shows at least comparable efficacy to venlafaxine in future trials, we expect that it will become a popular antidepressant upon approval.

Novel Agents Promise Improved Side-Effect Profiles

Novel therapies that could enter the depression market by 2010 include 5HT agonists and/or antagonists, SSRI/5HT modulators, super neurotransmitter uptake blockers (SNUBs), substance P antagonists, and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) antagonists. Based on our current knowledge, we do not expect any of these agents to be considerably more effective than the currently available antidepressants. We do, however, expect several of the newer agents to have fewer associated side effects than the currently available antidepressants, an attribute that physicians will readily embrace.

Depression offers invaluable market intelligence for pharmaceutical companies competing in this 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 http://www.dresources.com/.

Contact Frank Sama, 781.296.2553 (tel), 781.296.2525 (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