Pfizer developing 'bio-betters,' seeking rare blood disorder drugs

Anyone doubting Big Pharma's interest in developing biotech drugs should check out a new report in the Wall Street Journal detailing Pfizer's work on three large molecules now in mid-stage development.

Dow Jones, meanwhile, reports that Andrew Callos, vice president of commercial development of endocrinology and hematology in Pfizer's specialty-care unit, is seeking new pacts on programs for rare blood disorders. "A lot of these smaller disease needs have gone unmet," Callos told the news service. "Before, we were always trying to replace blockbusters that were losing exclusivity with more blockbusters."

The chief of Pfizer's specialty care unit, Geno Germano, says that Pfizer is striking new deals with smaller developers to get more biotech programs started. Pfizer's key interest now is on "bio-betters," he tells the Journal, as well as follow-on biologics. And on the front burner are three key programs for new biologics--with two that are designed to work better than Rituxan and one that could reduce the frequency of Enbrel injections.

These programs, some of which depend on work done by Trubion, will require a regular FDA application and review. But as a bio-better, Pfizer officials are hopeful that they can shorten the years-long effort that traditionally goes into a development program.  

- read the story from the Wall Street Journal
- here's the piece from Dow Jones