Pfizer seeks salvation in late-stage biotherapeutics

Pfizer's Jeff Kindler (photo) has boldly staked out plans to make 15 to 20 regulatory filings for new drug approvals and expanded use of existing drugs between 2010 and 2012, insisting that the pharma giant can gin new revenue to replace the $12 billion a year it will see evaporate when Lipitor loses its patent protection. In a highly anticipated meeting with analysts this morning, Kindler outlined how Pfizer is bracing itself for the massive losses connected with generic competition for Lipitor--a fateful moment that could come as early as 2010. Expanding aggressively into China and Latin America will help, he told the analysts, who were more eager to hear how Pfizer intends to compete in the U.S. market, which provides the bulk of its drug revenue. And Pfizer insists it will continue to lower costs as it finds the "right size" relative to income.

Pfizer has been on a buying spree lately, snatching up biotech programs and companies in its bid to stay competitive and boost income. In the meeting this morning executives said that between 15 and 20 mid-stage therapies would shift into late-stage trials by the end of next year. During that time, Phase III trials will jump by 50 percent to 75 percent, to 24 to 28 programs. They currently have 16 Phase III trials underway. In the process, says Pfizer, the company intends to become a top-tier biotherapeutics player.

- read Pfizer's release
- check out the AP report
- read the Dow Jones story

ALSO: As Pfizer held its big conference call this morning, the New York Daily News was reporting on the company's job cuts and plant closure in Manhattan and Brooklyn. At issue: a $10 million tax-break package the drug maker got in return for creating new jobs in New York. Pfizer was supposed to be on the hook for boosting employment to 8,659 from 5,735. Report

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