Pfizer lays out its R&D survival strategy

While Wall Street has been transfixed by signs that Pfizer CEO Ian Read is preparing to sell off large chunks of its business so it can concentrate on pharmaceutical sales and new drug development to replace the blockbusters slated to lose patent protection, Read has been pushing full-steam-ahead on plans to radically slim the Big Pharma's huge R&D operations. And in its quarterly report out today Pfizer laid out just how much it plans to reduce R&D spending this year as it laid out its top prospects for an approval.

R&D, which reported $9.4 billion in R&D costs last year, is being slashed as much as $1.4 billion this year as the pharma giant barrels ahead with plans to cut that down to as little as $6 billion to $6.5 billion in 2012. Total R&D spending this year, says Pfizer, will dwindle to $8 billion to $8.5 billion.

"I believe we are well positioned to succeed in fixing our innovative core, which, if successful, can lead to greater value in both the near and longer-term," said Read in a statement. He went on to lay out plans to produce Phase III data this year on the crucial rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib as well as axitinib for renal cell carcinoma, Prevnar/Prevenar 13 for the prevention of pneumococcal disease in adults, and Eliquis for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Phase II data for crizotinib for non-small cell lung cancer is also expected this year.

"For crizotinib, we remain on-track with our rolling U.S. submission, which began in January. Additionally, we continue to anticipate filings in the U.S. and EU by the end of 2011 for certain other oncology compounds as well as for tofacitinib and Eliquis. Further, we expect to receive actions later this year on our U.S. and EU filings of Prevnar/Prevenar 13 for the prevention of pneumococcal disease in adults."

- check out the Pfizer release
- here's the Dow Jones report

Special Report: Pfizer - The world's biggest R&D spenders