November 19, 2001
Diseases That Primarily Affect Women are Targets of 358 New
Medicines In the Pharmaceutical Pipeline
- 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)
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
"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.
* a medicine for metastatic breast cancer designed to block an aberrant gene
that triggers abnormal growth; * 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.