October 24, 2002
Rate Of Biotech Medicine Advance Accelerating

This rate of new product development will increase even further as the ability to manipulate genes increases. Advances in the power of the technological tools will lower the cost of new product development and enable new types of products to be developed:

A record number of biotech medicines has reached the final stage of clinical trials, positioning the industry to produce as many products in the next few years as it has during the past 20.

Data compiled by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America show that of 371 biotech medicines now undergoing commercial tests, 116 have reached Phase III clinical trials -- the last step before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decides whether they are safe and effective enough to sell to consumers.

This is the original press release from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America that probably inspired the San Francisco Chronicle article:

371 Biotechnology Medicines IN Testing Offer Hope of New Treatments for Nearly 200 Diseases

October 21, 2002

371 BIOTECHNOLOGY MEDICINES IN TESTING OFFER HOPE OF NEW TREATMENTS FOR NEARLY 200 DISEASES

Washington, D.C. – More than 250 million people have already benefited from medicines and vaccines developed through biotechnology, and a new survey by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) identifies 371 more biotechnology medicines in the pipeline. Nearly 200 diseases are being targeted by this research conducted by 144 companies and the National Cancer Institute.

These new medicines – all of which are in human clinical trials or are awaiting FDA approval –include 178 new medicines for cancer, 47 for infectious diseases, 26 for autoimmune diseases, 22 for neurologic disorders, and 21 for HIV/AIDS and related conditions.

Approved biotechnology medicines already treat or help prevent heart attacks, stroke, multiple sclerosis, leukemia, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer, diabetes, congestive heart failure, lymphoma, kidney cancer, cystic fibrosis and other diseases.

"These medicines are the result of extensive efforts to understand the human genome and penetrate the molecular basis of disease," said PhRMA President Alan F. Holmer. "The cutting-edge medicines in development – many of which attack or prevent disease in fundamentally different ways – offer hope to patients with diseases for which we have no cures."

Among the new biotechnology medicines in development are an epidermal growth factor inhibitor that targets and blocks signaling pathways used to promote the growth and survival of cancer cells; monoclonal antibodies – or laboratory-made versions of one of the body’s own weapons against disease – that target asthma, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, various types of cancer, and other diseases; and therapeutic vaccines, designed to jump start the immune system to fight such diseases as AIDS, diabetes, and several types of cancer.

Researchers are also pursuing antisense medicines – which interfere with the signaling process that triggers disease pathways for AIDS, several types of cancer, Crohn’s disease, heart disease, and psoriasis, and gene therapies, which augment normal gene functions or replace or inactivate disease-causing genes, for hemophilia, several cancers, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, and other diseases.

PhRMA represents the country’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. The industry invested more than $30 billion in 2001 in discovering and developing new medicines. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 October 24 12:19 PM  Biotech Advance Rates


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