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Nearly 700 drugs in development for oncology, the top area of research: PharmaLive Special Reports

NEWTOWN, Pa., November 12, 2010 - Propelled by the increased movement toward personalized therapy, drug developers are focusing on targeted products and smaller patient segments. One such emerging segment in oncology research is melanoma. Experts are predicting melanoma cases to nearly double from now until 2019. Groundbreaking strides are being made in treating terminal melanoma patients based on tumor gene expression. One drug in late-stage development that offers particular hope in this area is Roche and Plexxikon Inc.'s PLX4032. Available treatments for the condition induce response rates between 10% and 20%, with no significant benefit to overall survival rates. PLX4032, however, was able to shrink tumors in 81% of patients in a Phase I trial, and subjects stayed in remission for a median time of seven months.

While oncology is the most researched area of development, the autoimmune market is the fastest-growing. The most promising drug in development in this category is Benlysta, which is currently under FDA review and scheduled for decision on December 9, 2010. If approved, this Human Genome Sciences Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline product will be the first new drug in more than 50 years specifically for systemic lupus.

Drugmakers are working on identifying appropriate biomarkers to more accurately predict how a patient will respond to a treatment in order to reduce late-phase attrition rates as seen during the past few months. Biomarkers for use in clinical trials are forecast to grow 37.6% by 2015 and will continue to shape research and development decisions.

"Drug development is in a state of transition," says Andrew Humphreys, editor in chief of UBM Canon Data Products Group. "Top therapeutic areas are becoming more diverse and more challenging as developers redirect their focus toward advanced drug delivery systems, personalized medicine, and novel disease therapies."

More information is available in Top 15 Therapeutic Areas 2010, PharmaLive's newest Special Report. This report includes expert analysis of leading therapeutic areas in terms of products in clinical trials and those awaiting approval. PharmaLive editors review companies heavily involved in each category along with their pipelines, market-leading brands, and compounds with significant potential. Insight into the competitive landscape, growth drivers, and challenges will allow readers to identify potential investment, partnership, and acquisition opportunities.

About UBM Canon Data Products Group UBM Canon Data Products Group, a division of UBM Canon, publishes PharmaLive Special Reports and Appliance Market Research Reports, which provide financial, company, and product statistical data and qualitative analysis for the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and appliance industries; maintains eKnowledgeBase and MDRWeb, comprehensive market intelligence tools serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device sectors; and manages company-wide Site Licenses for, Med Ad News, and R&D Directions.

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Posted: November 2010