Data suggests torcetrapib raises blood pressure

New trial data demonstrates that Pfizer's cholesterol drug torcetrapib in combination with Lipitor increases blood pressure, according to a report in The New York Times. News of the serious side effect forced the company's stock down by two percent. Torcetrapib is designed to increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol, and Pfizer has designated it as a major drug candidate for the company. Pfizer badly needs to find another blockbuster to replace the $13 billion it earns from Lipitor, which is coming off patent protection in four years. Pfizer says it still expects to file for FDA approval next year, with a possible market launch in 2008. Pfizer will spend $800 million developing torcetrapib, which has been in the pipeline for a decade.

- here's the UPI report on the new data
- and here's the report from Marketwatch