Despite Heightened Concerns Over Influenza, the Most Commercially Important Viral Infections for Drug Developers Remain HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Decision Resources, Inc., a leading research and advisory firm focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B are the most important viral infections for drug developers. According to a new Spectrum report titled, Emerging Antiviral Drug Targets, large patient populations, high medical need, and the potential for chronic treatment make these drug markets lucrative for the biopharmaceutical industry.

Among these three infectious diseases, HIV has yielded the highest number of viable drug targets and candidates, partly because of the high level of investment in HIV research and the availability of predictive in vitro models for drug testing.

"Hepatitis C drug development has been hampered by the lack of reliable cell culture systems and animal infection models, but several promising targets, including protease and polymerase, have yielded drug candidates that could potentially revolutionize the treatment of hepatitis C," says John Lebbos, therapeutic area director of infectious diseases at Decision Resources, Inc. "In contrast to HIV and hepatitis C, which have a more diverse array of approaches in advanced stages of development, hepatitis B virus drug development is relatively concentrated within nucleoside analogues."

Source: Decision Resources, Inc.