SOURCE: Greystone Associates

October 14, 2008 07:00 ET

Expanded Indications, Novel Targets Driving Activity in Autoimmune Disease Therapeutics

New Analysis by Greystone Associates Examines Commercial and Clinical Developments and Assesses Market Impact

NASHUA, NH--(Marketwire - October 14, 2008) - Already a major therapeutic disease sector accounting for drug sales in excess of $18 billion worldwide, the incidence of autoimmune disease in developed countries is increasing. The impact of autoimmunity on patient quality-of-life is well known, but it has only been in the last ten years with the introduction of biological drugs capable of modulating the immune cascade that effective therapies for this most intractable family of diseases have become available. The result has been a drug sector that has grown rapidly to include more than a half-dozen products with annual sales exceeding $1 billion.

The past few years have been marked by expanded indications, creating new treatment options for caregivers and their patients. But in spite of these recent successes -- and in part because of them -- work to identify and develop new therapeutic candidates has intensified.

As with virtually any drug with significant efficacy, side effects remain a major issue. Much of the current wave of development activity is focused on the search for new classes of autoimmune drugs that achieve a therapeutic benefit with minimal side effects. These approaches include drug candidates that target specific immune response processes, such as inhibiting the action of adhesion molecules or interfering with the migration of activated immune cells from lymph nodes.

Arthritis, because of its market size and economic importance, is often the therapeutic target for pipeline therapies in this sector, while less prevalent disease segments benefit almost exclusively through secondary or expanded indications. The outlook for the psoriasis segment is closely linked to the commercial market for arthritis treatment, due to the significant prevalence of psoriasis patients to suffer from psoriatic arthritis.

The Greystone research study 'Autoimmune Disease Therapeutics' analyzes approved and development-stage therapeutic drugs for six major autoimmune disease segments, and includes forecasts, analysis, descriptions and evaluations of current and probable future market developments, technology issues, and business factors.

More information is available at

http://www.greystoneassociates.org/Autoimmune_Disease.htm.

About Greystone

Greystone Associates is a medical and healthcare technology consulting firm providing services in strategic planning, venture development, product commercialization, and technology and market assessment.

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