Pfizer's new pipeline shows growth and diversity in research and development

Pfizer Inc. today provided an update to its pipeline for the first time since the close of the acquisition of Wyeth in October, 2009. The new development pipeline, composed of assets from both legacy companies, includes 133 programs from phase 1 through registration, and shows growth and increased diversity in each of the areas where the company invests in research and development.

“Through the acquisition of Wyeth, Pfizer has become a leading biotherapeutics company, and we are well positioned to pioneer the next generation of high-potential medicines”

“This pipeline of investigational medicines represents the strong future of Pfizer,” said Martin Mackay, president, PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development. “Since the closing of the Wyeth transaction late last year, we have made strategic decisions about our R&D resources, global footprint and high-priority projects. Our focus now turns to delivery of these health solutions for patients around the world.”

Pfizer has identified six “Invest to Win” areas of research where there exist significant opportunities for innovation and market leadership: oncology; pain; inflammation; Alzheimer’s disease; psychoses; and diabetes. The new pipeline demonstrates focused investment in these areas of significant unmet medical need as well as growth in the critical technologies of vaccines and biologics.

Following the acquisition of Wyeth, the combined company pipeline had 600 projects ranging from discovery through registration. The new prioritized portfolio contains about 500 projects across a broad range of diseases, with a focus on the “Invest to Win” areas, as well as vaccines and biologics. Approximately 70% of Pfizer’s research projects and 75% of the late-stage portfolio are focused on these areas.

The growth in vaccines and biologics is reflective of Pfizer’s goal of becoming a top-tier biotherapeutics company by 2015. The company’s pipeline now includes a total of 6 vaccines and 27 biologics in development, up from 1 vaccine and 16 biologics at the last pipeline update in March 2009.

“Through the acquisition of Wyeth, Pfizer has become a leading biotherapeutics company, and we are well positioned to pioneer the next generation of high-potential medicines,” said Mikael Dolsten, president, BioTherapeutics Research and Development.

Pfizer’s portfolio now includes:

  • 30 compounds in development for various oncology indications, including PF-02341066, a c-MET-ALK inhibitor in Phase 3 for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and axitinib, a VEGF inhibitor in Phase 2 for lung, gastrointestinal, thyroid, and breast cancer and Phase 3 studies for renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Pfizer has two pan-HER/erbB targeted agents in Phase 3 studies, including PF-00299804 for non-small cell lung cancer and Neratinib for metastatic breast cancer. In addition, Pfizer has therapeutic targets in hematology with compounds in Phase 3 development, such as bosutinib, for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), in addition to compounds in earlier development, such as inotuzumab ozogamicin for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Last month, a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) seeking FDA approval for Sutent for the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors was filed. Sutent is an oral multi-kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced / metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) after disease progression on or intolerance to imatinib mesylate.
  • 10 compounds in development for Alzheimer’s disease, representing a range of mechanisms Pfizer is evaluating for the treatment of this illness. These include Latrepirdine (Dimebon), being developed by Pfizer and Medivation, and bapineuzumab, being developed by Pfizer and Janssen, both in Phase 3 development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 8 compounds in development for pain, including tanezumab, a novel injectable biotherapeutic compound which targets nerve growth factor. The Phase 3 program studying tanezumab in osteoarthritis initiated in November, 2008, with more than 5,000 patients planned to be treated with this potential new medicine.
  • 11 compounds in development for inflammation, including tasocitinib (CP-690,550), Pfizer's JAK-3 inhibitor in development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Pfizer initiated a global Phase 3 clinical program in RA for tasocitinib (CP-690,550) in February 2009, with five Phase 3 studies ongoing.
  • 6 vaccines and 27 biologics in the development pipeline, including Prevnar 13, a vaccine designed to prevent pneumococcal disease in infants and young children. Prevnar 13 has been approved for infants and young children in 34 countries, including in the EU and Canada, and is under regulatory review in many other countries, including the U.S. Prevenar 13 is also being studied in global Phase 3 clinical trials in adults, with regulatory submissions expected in 2010.

By the end of 2009, Pfizer as a stand-alone company met three late-stage development commitments made to investors in March 2008. It met a commitment to initiate 10-12 Phase 3 starts between March, 2008 and March, 2009, and it met commitments to initiate 15 Phase 3 starts in the 2008-2009 period and to have 24-28 new molecular entities and new indications in the Phase 3 pipeline by the end of 2009. The new combined company pipeline has 34 new molecular entities and new indications in Phase 3.

Pfizer also announced that it has withdrawn its supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Lyrica for the adjunctive treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

In November, 2009, Pfizer announced that it would reduce its global R&D square footage by 35 percent. Consequently, R&D activities will be conducted at five main sites and nine specialized units around the world as compared with 20 R&D sites upon closing the acquisition of Wyeth on October 15, 2009.

Detailed information about Pfizer’s pipeline is available at Accompanying information includes compound name, target disease, phase of development and, for late-stage programs, mechanism of action.




The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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