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Pfizer abandons heart drug research


Pfizer is to abandon heart-drugs research to concentrate on more profitable products for treating cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

In 2011, its cholesterol pill Lipitor – the best-selling pill in history with $12.7 billion in sales last year – will lose patent protection.

As part of the policy switch, Pfizer will sell or share rights to at least 11 medicines in early testing for diseases the company no longer believes profitable enough.

Instead, it will pursue remedies for inflammatory diseases, pain, schizophrenia, heart failure, high cholesterol and obesity, as well as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes. Products for cancer and pain are typically more profitable because drug makers can charge a higher price.

Pfizer said the number of projects in final human tests has increased 50% since March, to 25. The only new compound added was CP-751871, which is being tested against lung cancer.

The restructuring will not result in laboratories closing and will shift many research employees to other areas, the company said.

Pfizer’s research budget of about $7.2 billion is unlikely to change next year, the company revealed. The intensified focus will not affect drugs in the last of three stages of testing needed for US approval.

Copyright PA Business 2008


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