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In Post-Vioxx Era, Biologics are Reviving the Arthritis Treatment Market
Date:3/7/2008

NEW YORK, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment market, held back somewhat in recent years by generic competition and the withdrawal of Vioxx and Bextra, is rebounding due to the performance of biologic treatments. The market for prescription drugs to treat RA topped $12 billion in 2006 and -- driven by new immunosupressants and other biologics -- will increase over 11% a year through 2011, according to a new report by Kalorama Information, Worldwide Market for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Treatments.

Autoimmune diseases are some of the most difficult conditions to treat, with RA topping the list. Worldwide, more than 39 million people suffer from RA and drug developers are scrambling to understand the underlying causes and find new treatments.

The availability and increased use of biologic treatments such as Enebrel, Rituxan and Remicade, representing three-quarters of the RA market in 2006, has revived growth in the industry, offsetting declines for older non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatments, which tend to have more generic competition. Sales of biologic treatments will grow 85% by 2011, according to Kalorama Information.

The most common biologic approaches to RA involve immunosupressant drugs that block three actors in the immune system: T-cells, chemical messengers, and white blood cells. There are also novel new therapies that activate suppresser cells, inhibiting the production of inflammation enzymes, suppressing the production of inflammation agents, and preventing the production of B-cell antibodies.

"Any drug market would suffer from having the world's most well-known drug withdrawal, but biologics are changing the story," says Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "They've shown better results than the standard treatments and, in the near-term at least, they won't have competition from generics. They will represent the lion's share of growth in the market."


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SOURCE Kalorama Information
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