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Pharmaceutical Companies Lead Fight Against Staph and Other Infectious Diseases

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) finds that America's pharmaceutical research companies are now testing 338 new medicines to help treat infectious diseases, including 11 medicines and four vaccines to treat staphococcal infections. This is particularly important in light of increased public concern about the spread of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections -- a strain of staph that has become resistant to current treatments.

"Staph poses a serious pubic health threat that we are committed to fighting," PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin said. "America's pharmaceutical research companies are working hard to develop new medicines that will treat staph and even prevent patients from infection in the first place."

Although scientists say infectious diseases will never be completely eliminated, new research and commitment of resources by both the government and pharmaceutical research companies can help meet the continuing - and ever-changing - threat from infectious diseases. These 338 medicines in development will help combat humankind's oldest and most tenacious enemy: infectious diseases.

Among the new medicines now being tested are 146 vaccines to prevent diseases such as smallpox and staph; 83 antibiotics/antibacterials to treat infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis; 75 antivirals to treat such viruses as hepatitis and influenza; and, 25 antifungals.

According to the report, the medicines in development include:

--A first-in-class medicine designed specifically to inhibit drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus.

--A medicine for the treatment of hepatitis C that is part of a new class of drugs to regulate innate immunity.

--A medicine that stops the life cycle of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.

Other medicines are in development for treatment of fungal infections, herpes, influenza, malaria, meningitis, pneumonia, respiratory infections, rotavirus, sepsis, smallpox, and urinary tract infections, among others.

To view the report and other information about medicines in development for infectious diseases, 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 $43 billion in 2006 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry wide research and investment reached a record $55.2 billion in 2006.

PhRMA Internet Address:

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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
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