6 Feb 2009

Next Biotech Opportunity Could Be in Hospital Acquired Infections

Hospital acquired infections (HAI) are exacting a significant toll on human life, ranking among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. With an estimated 5%-10% hospital patients acquiring an infection, about two million cases each year and about 90,000 deaths, there is a huge associated financial burden which a new report from Kalorama Information, "Nosocomial Infections: Market Assessment for Diagnostics and Therapeutics," estimates at between $4.5 billion and $5.78 billion annually.

Though some progress has been made in combating HAIs, more and more infections are proving resistant to antibiotics that are currently on the market. Another threat is beginning to appear in the form of global bugs that are hitching a ride on the backs of travelers. Bugs such as hepatitis C, the West Nile Virus, multi-drug resistant TB and yellow fever could be the next pandemic with the ability to severely cripple our healthcare system.

Just as infections can enter the hospital environment from abroad, so they can leave the hospital and enter our communities, often after swapping gene components with other bacteria and becoming even more drug resistant. For example, MRSA is increasingly present in schools and sports teams.

One thing is clear -- there is a strong need for new treatments to combat HAIs. But where will they come from? In 2007, the FDA approved 74 new drugs, of which only two were antibiotics. Also, of over 2,700 compounds currently in development, only about 50 are being developed as bacterial antibiotics.

"HAIs, especially the foreign bugs, are a considerable problem and the healthcare community needs help," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. "Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry has practically abandoned developing treatments. It will fall to the biotechnology community, and biotech companies have a market opportunity here that could provide them a major revenue stream."

Kalorama Information's new report "Nosocomial Infections: Market Assessment for Diagnostics and Therapeutics," focuses primarily on the more common bacterial infections, with some mention of viral infections. The report discusses the diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that are currently available and projects trends in these product areas. For further information visit: www.kaloramainformation.com/redirect.asp?progid=66469&productid=2065254

About Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information supplies the latest in independent market research in the life sciences, as well as a full range of custom research services. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics.

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