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April 7, 2010
Pfizer's Golden Age
I'm not sure I'd use this sort of language myself, but here we go: Pfizer's Martin Mackay is telling Bloomberg that the company is in a "golden age of drug discovery".
As of the end of last year, Pfizer had 26 drugs in phase-three trials. . .compared with eight at the end of 2007, Mackay said. That doesn’t include the treatments it got from Wyeth, he said at a briefing at the company’s research unit in Singapore.
Following the acquisition, Pfizer cut its research portfolio to 500 projects from 600, as it focuses on accelerating the development of drugs with a “big, early” effect in patient studies while weeding out the losers earlier in the process, Mackay said.
He says that Pfizer's pipeline is basically just running over with candidates in cancer, Alzheimer’s, pain, inflammation, and infectious diseases. And I've been hearing for years and years about weeding out the losing compounds earlier in the process, but as far as I can see, Phase III failures are either the same or going up as a share of total clinical dropouts.
At any rate, these assertions are subject to proof. For the sake of the patients that these drugs could help, and for the sake of Pfizer's patient shareholders, I hope that this golden-age talk is right. But there are a lot of ex-Pfizer people out there who have reasons of their own to dispute the statement.
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