Pfizer drops 100 drugs from pipeline

Pfizer Inc. is priming its pipeline.

The pharmaceutical giant, which has major research-and-development sites in Groton and New London, said today it is dropping about 100 potential new medicines to focus on 500 drugs that appear to be the most promising. Many of the drugs the company decided to drop were inherited when Pfizer completed its $67 billion purchase of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals last fall.

“This pipeline of investigational medicines represents the strong future of Pfizer,” said Martin Mackay, president of the company’s PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development division, in a statement.

Pfizer’s pipeline update unveiled today — the first since its acquisition of Wyeth — shows that 34 new or existing drugs are in the final phase of development in treating various diseases. The existing drugs in late-stage development all target a different condition than the one for which they had been previously approved.

The overall portfolio has 30 drugs targeting cancer, 10 focusing on Alzheimer’s disease, eight aimed at pain and 11 fighting inflammation. In addition, Wyeth’s acquisition has doubled Pfizer’s offerings in the areas of vaccines and biologics, with a total of 33 such therapies now in development.

About 70 percent of the new portfolio — and three-quarters of the late-stage pipeline — is focused on Pfizer’s “Invest to Win” strategy of emphasizing six distinct research areas: cancer, psychoses, diabetes, pain, inflammation and Alzheimer’s.

Two of Groton’s research units — neuroscience and CVMED (cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrine disorders) — focus on the company’s top drug priorities. Neuroscience investigates targets for Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia, while CVMED looks at possible diabetes medications.

Groton also has an antibacterials group, which targets infections and drug-resistant bacteria.


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