Thursday, May 11, 2006

Post-partum depression...emerging HIV treatments and more

DailyUpdates May 11th, 2006: Of the 50 or so breaking articles and drug development press releases featured on today's issue of DailyUpdates (see the entire edition here) we feature data looking at postpartum depression. This condition affects up to 10% of mother. The data suggest that breast feeding reduces the risk of developing depression. If this condition does develop, therapeutic intervention is possible, however it is advised that mothers should switch to formula feeding. This paradoxically situation could conceivably be prevented through the use of antidepressants less likely to appear in breast milk. We suggest that a study be performed comparing this route of elimination for the various agents in use. In addition we feature news on a new candidate HIV treatment.

Postpartum depression - identifying risk factors to optimize prevention, detection and treatment:
According to our recent feature The World Market for Antidepressants 2006, in 2004 total world revenues for branded antidepressant drugs was worth over $13bn, but with only ten drugs on the market. However, nine out of these ten drugs faces a loss of patent in the period 2006-2010. The world market is predicted to crash to $7bn by 2010 with a loss of almost 50% of total revenues. The world antidepressants market is therefore in serious trouble. Since the pipeline is lackluster emerging antidepressants stand to benefit from large gains. Equally identifying and treating patients who are not currently benefiting from effective treatment of depression will not only meet underserved clinical needs, it will also help to maintain revenues in this market. One underserved market is postpartum depression. Whilst up to 70% of new mother experience the baby blues, symptoms usually go away within 10 days after delivery. However, some women have more debilitating symptoms or symptoms last longer. This condition, postpartum depression, affects approximately 10% of new mothers and since over 4 million births are recorded per year in the US alone this translates to a large population, potential up to 3% of all individuals suffering from depression. Generally a combination of psychotherapy and medication can reduce these symptoms however predicting at risk women is important in order to optimize early diagnosis and hence treatment. Today's featured journal article identifies risk factors for postpartum depression which include formula feeding in place of breastfeeding, a history of depression, and cigarette smoking. Given these risk factors, prophylactic treatment may represent a challenge and encouraging women to breast feed may represent the simplest strategy. Paradoxically however use of antidepressants may require women to stop breast feeding. This may offer opportunities to the pharmaceutical sector as those antidepressants with the lowest distribution in breast milk may offer significant advantages

ncyte advance new candidate HIV treatment into the clinic: In the current antiretroviral landscape, resistance in all three of the established classes is proving to be problematic. Accordingly, the emergence of the entry inhibitor class is expected to change the market place. According to our recent feature Pipeline Insight: HIV Therapeutic the CCR5 antagonists are expected to account for at least14% of sales. This figure assumes such agents to be used in salvage therapy and could rise to over 25% if they are to be used first-line. Thus there is expected to be considerable competition between the various CCR5 antagonists. Today's feature press release comes from Incyte who announce the start of a Phase I clinical trial of their antagonist, INCB9471. A Phase IIa trial involving HIV patients is scheduled to initiate later this year.


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