Friday, June 30, 2006

Cannabinoids continue their march toward possible blockbuster status...Data support switch from typical to atypical antipsychotics

Todays Headlines from across the DailyUpdates network (June 30th)- to see today's bulletin click here
  • Breaking News (from DailyUpdates-Pain Therapeutics): Cannabinoids continue their march toward possible blockbuster status: The cannabinoids represent a potential blockbuster class of therapeutic agents with multiple indications (see Cannabinoids - A potential blockbuster market). Analysts say that the market grew by 6.3% between 2004 and 2005 and that growth of the market will continue through to 2010. The approval last week (June 21st, 12006) of anti-obesity therapeutic Acomplia in Europe and launch next month in the UK is expected to contribute strongly to this growth. Acomplia will join Marinol from Unimed Pharmaceuticals and Nabilone marketed by Cambridge Laboratories and more recently GW Pharmaceuticals’ Sativex. Savitex was launched in 2005 in Canada as an analgesic for use in multiple sclerosis patients. This indication represents a segment of the worldwide analgesic market which in total was worth $50 billion during the year 2005 and is expected to increase to $75 billion by the year 2010 and $105 billion by 2015. Other larger segments include acute pain and neuropathic pain (see Pain Therapeutics - Drugs, Markets and Companies). Today’s featured press release announces the advance of a further cannabinoid in development for the treatment of pain, Pharmos’ cannabinor (PRS-211,375). Pharmos announce that European regulators have approved a Phase 2a clinical study of this CB2-selective synthetic cannabinoid ligand in healthy subjects experiencing pain following third molar dental extraction. In Q3 2006, the Pharmos expects to initiate a second phase 2a intravenous trial that will test the analgesic activity and safety of cannabinor in experimentally induced neuropathic pain. [Source:Pharmos Release]
  • Featured Journal Article (from DailyUpdates-Psychiatric Disorders): Data support switch from typical to atypical antipsychotics The atypical antipsychotics have found favor among clinicians and are now considered to be first line treatments for schizophrenia and are gradually replacing the typical antipsychotics. The first atypical antipsychotic medication, clozapine, has been replaced by agents with a more favorable side effect profile such as olanzapine, risperidone, and quetiapine, and more recently ziprasidone and aripiprazole. These second generation antipsychotics continue to drive the antipsychotic market with a growth rate of 27% between 2002-2003, yielding revenues of over $9.5 billion in 2003 responsible for a 93.3% share of the market (see Antipsychotics - From Blockbuster Brands to Billion Dollar Generics). Our featured journal article today examined whether patients with schizophrenia who were judged to be stable on long-term treatment with conventional antipsychotic medications would further benefit from a switch to an atypical antipsychotic drug (risperidone or olanzapine). The results indicate that both atypical antipsychotic medications provided significant additional improvement in symptom severity in patients with schizophrenia previously on conventional antipsychotic agents. These data should further hasten the shift towards the use of atypical antipsychotics [J Psychiatr Res. 2006 Jun 6; [Epub ahead of print]]


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