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New Report on 633 Biotechnology Medicines Under Development Released in Michigan

DETROIT, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the nation combats an alarming rise in chronic diseases, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) today released a new report on the next generation of medicines in research pipelines that offer hope to millions of patients.

The report found that America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies - including several located in Michigan - are testing a record 633 new biotech medicines.

Today's report was released in Michigan due to the growing prominence of the state's biotech sector in developing and testing cutting-edge medicines. Michigan's life sciences industry has become one of the nation's fastest-growing regions, with 112 new biotechnology companies formed in the state since 2000 - including a number of companies that research and develop new medicines.

"The biotechnology revolution is helping create medicines that use unprecedented technologies, such as nano-sized particles that seek out and kill viruses, ways to actually regenerate healthy muscle to replace damaged heart tissue, and gene therapy," said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson. "The impact of this research is felt worldwide. Such critical innovation is creating medicines with the potential to help millions of patients live longer, healthier and more productive lives."

"We are proud of the increasingly important role of Michigan's pharmaceutical biotechnology sector in developing and testing cutting-edge medicines," said Stephen Rapundalo, Ph.D., president of MichBio, the association for Michigan's biosciences industry. "MichBio is committed to providing new hope for patients and to driving the continued growth of Michigan's life sciences industry that makes this possible."

All of the experimental medicines in the report are being tested in human clinical trials or await approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The 633 biotechnology medicines being developed by companies nationwide include 254 medicines for cancer, 162 for infectious diseases, 59 for autoimmune diseases, 34 for HIV/AIDS and related conditions, 25 for cardiovascular disease, and 19 for diabetes and related conditions. The medicines include a number of innovative approaches, such as a laboratory-made version of a naturally-occurring protein that neutralizes foreign invaders.

Among new biotech medicines that Michigan companies are working on:

-- A treatment to repair damaged neural tissue in patients with spinal cord injuries

-- A medicine that treats the effects of anthrax after toxins have been released into the body, a condition for which there is no approved therapy

-- A treatment for menopause that mimics estrogen's beneficial action in bone tissue

"Researchers are making exciting progress in the search for new cures and treatments for a wide array of serious diseases. But these efforts are wasted if the medicines that are developed are not accessible to the patients who need them," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin.

Help is available to patients in need through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), a program sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies. To date, the PPA has helped more than 5 million patients nationwide, including more than 176,087 people in Michigan. Since its launch in April 2005, the PPA bus tour has visited all 50 states and more than 2,000 cities. The PPA bus has been to Michigan nine times since the program was launched.

To read the 2008 report, Medicines in Development Biotechnology, go to:

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $44.5 billion in 2007 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $58.8 billion in 2007.

PhRMA Internet Address:

For information on stories of hope and survival, visit:

For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit:

For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit:

For information on the danger of imported drugs, visit:

SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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