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. HIV Market To Top 10 Billion Dollars

Celsentri and Isentress are expected to steal market share from Roche's Fuzeon, which currently dominates the late-stage therapy. Because Celsentri and Isentress are orally available, they will probably have an advantage over Fuzeon, which has to be given by injection and is expensive.
by Steve Mitchell
UPI Senior Medical Correspondent
Washington (UPI) April 11, 2007
The HIV market will grow to $10.6 billion by 2015, driven in part by new drugs from Merck, Pfizer and Tibotec, according to an analyst report released Wednesday.

The market, which was worth about $7.1 billion in 2005, will undergo significant changes over the next several years, including the introduction of important new classes of drugs, projects the report from the analyst firm Datamonitor.

"We're expecting the market to grow to about $10 billion in the next 10 years, despite patent expires occurring for several key HIV drugs," Mansi Shah, Datamonitor infectious diseases analyst and author of the report, told United Press International.

The projected growth is "mainly due to the launch of new drugs," Shah added.

This includes Pfizer's CCR5 inhibitor Celsentri, Merck's integrase inhibitor Isentress and also Tibotec's non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, TMC125 and TMC278.

Atripla, which was developed by Gilead and Bristol-Myers Squibb, also will help propel the increase in the market. Atripla has already been launched in the United States and it is expected to be launched this year in Europe.

Celsentri and Isentress are expected to steal market share from Roche's Fuzeon, which currently dominates the late-stage therapy. Because Celsentri and Isentress are orally available, they will probably have an advantage over Fuzeon, which has to be given by injection and is expensive, Shah said.

As a result, Fuzeon will probably be marginalized to use in patients who have no other treatment options, she added.

Pfizer's Celsentri is expected to be launched later this year, followed by Merck's Isentress in 2008.

The Datamonitor report projects sales of Celsentri to reach $350 million in 2015, while Isentress will bring in $400 million.

Atripla, which appears to be enjoying a rapid uptake so far, is on track for sales of $1.7 billion by 2015.

Tibotec's TMC125 is expected to be launched in 2008 followed by TMC278 in 2009. TMC125 will probably be limited to late-stage use, but TMC278 is expected to be used in early-line therapy and to consequently have more impact on the market, Shah said.

The Datamonitor report forecasts TMC125 sales will hit $200 million by 2015 while TMC278 will exceed more than $500 million in sales.

Tibotec said TMC125 was being developed for treatment-experienced patients and TMC278 was being developed for treatment-naive patients.

Pamela Van Houten, spokeswoman for Tibotec, told UPI the company plans to release data on TMC125 this year as well as file for regulatory approval.

Regarding TMC278, Van Houten said the company released data from phase 2b studies this year and plans to start phase 3 studies by the end of the year. She said it's too early to project a filing date for that compound.

Van Houten said the company does not share information about sales forecasts for its products.

Tibotec is also continuing to develop Prezista, its protease inhibitor that was launched last year for treatment-experienced patients.

Van Houten said the company is conducting phase 3 studies involving treatment-naive patients, the data from which will be reported later this year.

"Assuming the data warrant it, we will be filing for an indication in treatment-naive patients," she said. The company has not established a firm timeline for when it will file, however.

The number of people infected with HIV is also expected to increase, which will also help drive sales in this market. In some ways, the effectiveness of medications in controlling the illness may actually be contributing to the problem.

"Advances in anti-retroviral therapy have turned HIV from a universally feared 'death sentence' into a chronic disease with an average life expectancy similar to that of type 2 diabetes," Shah said. "Because of this, attitudes towards HIV have become relatively blase amongst some groups."

In addition, campaigns to increase HIV awareness and new diagnostic tests also are expected to increase the number of those infected with the virus who receive treatment.

Source: United Press International

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