More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Diseases Affecting Women are Targets of New Medicines in Pharmaceutical Pipeline Says PhRMA

19 Nov 11:48, 2001

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Pharmaceutical companies are developing 358 new medicines to target more than 30 diseases that disproportionately affect women, a new survey released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) found.

PhRMA released its new 2001 survey on New Medicines in Development for Women at a press conference in Washington, D.C., with Miss America, Katie Harman. Miss America highlighted the industry's commitment to research on women's health, particularly breast cancer. Miss America is dedicating her year's reign to supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer and ensuring quality of life across the continuum of care at all stages of the illness. Miss America applauded the pharmaceutical industry's research efforts, which include 58 medicines in development to treat -- and hopefully beat -- breast cancer.

"There have been so many advances in women's health and we anticipate many more to come," Holmer said. "During these unsettling times, people should find hope in the on-going work of America's pharmaceutical companies."

Beyond breast cancer, the potential medicines, all either in clinical trials or awaiting final approval by the Food and Drug Administration, include 33 for ovarian cancer, 33 for arthritis, 31 for diabetes, 26 for depression, 20 for osteoporosis, and 14 for multiple sclerosis. In addition, companies have 122 medicines in the pipeline for heart disease and stroke -- which kill half a million women each year -- and 68 medicines for lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of American women.

Other medicines in development target lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, glaucoma, incontinence, urinary tract infections, asthma, chronic bronchitis, Alzheimer's disease, migraine headache, obstetrical and gynecological disorders, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, sepsis and other diseases.

"Women in the United States can expect to live an average of 79.4 years -- more than five years longer than men," said PhRMA President Alan F. Holmer. "But women are more susceptible to a number of diseases. Pharmaceutical companies are zeroing in on those diseases, as well as on heart disease, cancer, and stroke -- the three leading killers of both men and women."

Many of the medicines in the pipeline use new techniques to attack disease. Examples include:

  • a medicine that increases the number of bone-forming cells in order to help osteoporosis patients grow new bone mass;
  • a vaccine designed to prevent bacteria that cause urinary tract infections from attaching to bladder cells;
  • a medicine that blocks an enzyme responsible for producing key hormones involved in the inflammatory process that triggers rheumatoid arthritis;
  • a medicine designed to stop the production of antibodies that cause kidney damage in lupus patients;
  • a medicine to prevent the activation of the T cells that trigger psoriasis.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (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. Investing more than $30 billion in 2001 in discovering and developing new medicines, PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures.

Contact: Meredith Art of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, 202-835-3469;

Copyright 2001, U.S. Newswire