Pfizer Focuses on Experimental Drugs to Regain Revenue Losses


Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is expecting results on two different clinical trials of treatment, which it hopes will help the company make up for the billions of dollars it lost in revenue in the past few years. The first is an experimental breast cancer drug known as palbociclib, and the second is a vaccine for pneomonia, currently approved for children, which the company is hoping to expand to elderly populations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The company is currently re-doubling its efforts on streamlining new products to market after losing patent protection on some of its top-selling products, including Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medicine. The pressure the company faces from increased generic competition may only grow worse in 2014. This year, the company predicts it will lose about $3 billion due to patent expirations. A focus on new, experimental drugs like palbociclib is crucial to the company’s success in upcoming years.

“We will have two big data readouts that we’ve been waiting for,” Pfizer’s Chief Executive Ian Read said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, regarding the two clinical trials.

Should Pfizer’s breast cancer drug succeed in clinical trials and go on to gain approval from U.S. regulators, it could potentially bring in more than $3 billion in yearly sales. In a conference call with investors and analysts, Pfizer executives said they may begin talking with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about seeking the drug’s approval, depending on the results of the therapy’s phase 2 trial, results that are expected to be released very soon, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer’s other hopeful, the Prevnar vaccine, is currently approved for children and some adults; it’s one of Pfizer’s top-selling products, which it hopes to expand approval for. Prevnar brought in $1.1 billion in worldwide sales during the fourth-quarter of 2013, and analysts expect that if Pfizer is successful in seeking it’s expansion to adults over the age of 65, it will add another $1 billion in sales.

Pfizer’s other strategy for dealing with its revenue losses include amping up the sales of older successes like Viagra, the company’s erectile-dysfunction pill, as well as those of newer successes like Xeljanz, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, and Eliquis, an anticlotting drug.

Pfizer reported a 59 percent fall in net income for the fourth-quarter to $2.57 billion from $6.32 billion the previous year. The fall is partially due to last years’ divestment of the company’s animal health unit.