Cialis (tadalafil), the erectile dysfunction treatment sold by Lilly ICOS, could also be an effective treatment for men with enlarged prostates, according to the results of a Phase II clinical trial.

The positive data raise the prospect of a new use for Cialis that could significantly expand the revenue potential of the drug. Cialis has taken a little time to get going in the marketplace for ED drugs, but is now gathering momentum, with a 39% hike in second-quarter 2005 sales of $190 million dollars [[22/07/05b]].

The addition of an indication in benign prostatic hyperplasia would dramatically expand the target population for the drug, as BPH affects around half of all men aged over 50. Currently, the US market for BPH drugs stands at around $2.5 billion, and a single product that addresses both BPH and ED - which also tends to affect older men - would be an appealing option for prescribers and patients.

The study found that men taking Cialis had a significant improvement in symptoms, which notably include difficulties in urinating. At a 5mg dose, Cialis achieved a 2.8-point improvement in symptom scores, compared with a 1.2-point average improvement in men taking placebo. And for those receiving a higher, 20mg dose the average improvement was 3.8 points, compared to 1.7 points in the control group.

Meanwhile, Cialis is also set to benefit from the extension of Medicare coverage in the USA to include ED treatments from January 1, 2006 [[18/05/05f]] [[02/02/05f]].