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Report on 300 New Medicines in Development for Heart Disease and Stroke Released in Indianapolis
Date:2/26/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are testing a record number of potential medicines to treat two of the country's top killers. According to the latest report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) on medicines in the research pipeline, over 300 new medicines are in development to treat heart disease and stroke.

"This report reflects the never-ending commitment of our scientists and companies to improve healthcare by fighting debilitating chronic diseases, which often have devastating impacts on patients, their families and the American economy," said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson at today's press conference. "This report also illustrates why the U.S. leads the world in discovering and developing new medicines."

More research and development of new medicines takes place in the U.S. than in any other country. Indiana has a fair share of that, with more than 6 percent of the nation's pharmaceuticals workforce employed in the Hoosier state. At least 10 pharmaceutical companies are headquartered in Indiana, and at least 13 additional companies maintain a division, branch or manufacturing plant in Indiana. National Institutes of Health funding for Indiana's biosciences has grown nearly twice the national rate over the past six years. The biopharmaceutical research industry contributes significantly to the state's economy.

The 312 heart and stroke medicines now being developed, more than double the number (146) under development in 2005. Innovative potential heart and stroke medicines - five being developed here in Indiana - hold particular relevance to Hoosiers because cardiovascular disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the state. Indiana also ranks high for many factors that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including higher-than-national rates for smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Today's news briefing featured Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Indiana University alum Mark Spitz, who suffers from high cholesterol. Considered one of the most dominant Olympic athletes ever, Spitz earned a total of 11 medals, including a record-breaking seven Gold Medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Spitz spoke of discovering, at age 38, that he had high cholesterol and was at risk for developing heart disease. Now, Spitz is an advocate for cholesterol testing and heart health, spurred by his personal battle.

"I realized that I had to get the message out that regardless of how healthy you think you are, you may be walking around with this silent killer. I was surprised that this could happen to me - after all, I've worked out my whole life. But heart disease and stroke can strike anyone," said Spitz.

The medicines in the report are being tested in human clinical trials or are awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"In recent years, the development of effective medicines that control blood pressure and cholesterol has allowed us to better control the risk factors for cardiovascular events and has helped significantly cut deaths from heart disease and stroke," said Dr. J. Anthony Ware, Eli Lilly & Company, Vice President and Global Platform Leader, Diabetes and Cardiovascular.

According to a 2008 report by the American Heart Association, death rates for cardiovascular disease fell a dramatic 26.4 percent between 1999 and 2005.

Medicines now in the research pipeline include 36 for high blood pressure, 33 for heart failure, 16 for heart attacks, and 22 for stroke. Many of the potential medicines use cutting-edge technologies and new approaches such as one that uses human stem cells to form new heart muscle and restore cardiac functioning, and another that is a gene therapy that uses a patient's own cells to treat heart failure.

"Pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers are making exciting progress, but it is wasted if medicines don't get to the patients who need them," says Billy Tauzin, PhRMA's president and CEO. "That is particularly true in these hard economic times with people losing their jobs and health insurance."

Help is available to patients in need through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). A clearinghouse for more than 475 patient assistance programs, PPA is sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research companies and has helped more than 5.6 million patients nationwide, including more than 205,475 people in Indiana (contact 1-888-4PPA-NOW or www.pparx.org).

To read the Medicines in Development for Heart Disease and Stroke 2009 on the PhRMA web site, click on the following link: http://www.phrma.org

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: http://www.phrma.org

For information on stories of hope and survival, visit: http://sharingmiracles.com/

For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org

For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org

For information on the dangers of imported drugs, visit: http://www.buysafedrugs.info


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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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