Pfizer to raise R&D spending to bolster pipeline: An odd move since their blockbuster drugs are acquired through acquisitions

Comment by Jim Campbell

This is an odd move for Pfizer whose research pipeline has produced next to nothing.

Disclosure: I never worked a day for Pfizer.



All marketed drugs picked up by their usual M.O. buying out companies with block buster drugs in their pipeline. 

I retired as soon as the company I was working for was bought from them and sold all of my stock.

I must add that as a “Legacy Employee,” they have provided me with excellent health care benefits and prescriptions.

What’s not to like.

A peak under the hood at Pfizer, the link can be take with a grain of salt. (Source)

Their successes have been on par with the minor leagues, not the big leagues as in professional baseball or NFL Football

Pfizer’s Acute Leukemia Drug Mylotarg Approved by the FDA (Source)

Their efforts here are suggestive of the “Bush Leagues.”

Pfizer-developed biosimilar medicine IXIFI


IXIFI™ (infliximab-qbtx) is a chimeric human-murine mAb against tumor necrosis factor, approved as a biosimilar for all eligible indications of the reference product.1

IXIFI has been approved in the U.S. for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, pediatric Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis.

Hey Pfizer, what about the good ole U.S.A.?

In February 2016, Sandoz acquired the rights from Pfizer for the development, commercialization and manufacture of PF-06438179 in the 28 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) that form the European Economic Area (EEA).

Under the terms of the divestment, Pfizer retains commercialization and manufacturing rights to PF-06438179 in countries outside the EEA .Source

Unless formulary prohibitions are in place, physicians prefer brand name agents over “Bio similar ones.”


The Wall Street Journal

By Nishant Mohan

July 31, 2018

Pfizer Inc. plans to increase research and development spending and focus on smaller deals in a bid to accelerate the delivery of potential blockbuster treatments to market.

The New York City-based drugmaker on Tuesday raised projections for R&D spending to between $7.7 billion and $8.1 billion, up from $7.4 billion to $7.9 billion previously, as it seeks to bring several cancer, pain and other drugs in the later stages of development to the market.

“We now believe we are getting close to a growth period,” Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read said in an interview.

Pfizer announced the R&D spending adjustment while reporting that its overall revenue in the second quarter rose 4% to $13.47 billion, though currency movements provided a 3% lift. Meantime, its net income grew to $3.87 billion, or 65 cents a share, from $3.07 billion, or 51 cents a share.

Pfizer is now doubling down on its own R&D efforts, after looking at doing a big deal the past few years. The company expects 25 to 30 drugs from its pipeline to be approved through 2022, including as many as 15 with the potential to ring up $1 billion in yearly sales.


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Citing the pipeline’s promise, Mr. Read told analysts the company wasn’t interested in a big deal any longer.

“I don’t believe we need such a deal to drive the growth of the company. We’d be better off focusing on developing our pipeline,” Mr. Read said during an earnings call. He said the company will look at smaller deals that would add to Pfizer’s pipeline, perhaps for a gene therapy.

Mr. Read also told analysts he expects drug companies like Pfizer would benefit if the Trump administration goes through with plans that would eliminate the rebates paid to drug-benefit managers.

“Removal of rebates will be very beneficial,” Mr. Read said during the earnings call. After facing criticism from President Donald Trump, Pfizer said in July it would defer planned price increases on more than 40 drugs to give the administration room to implement its plans for tackling drug prices.

In the quarter, Pfizer’s results were boosted by the performance of key brands, such as the bloodthinner Eliquis, Ibrance breast-cancer pills and rheumatoid-arthritis therapy Xeljanz. Pfizer also got a $377 million lift from a stronger dollar.

Yet Pfizer expects foreign exchange to turn into a headwind for the remainder of the year. The company lowered its revenue target by $500 million at the midpoint to between $53 billion and $55 billion, citing recent unfavorable currency moves.

The company, which has been considering options including a sale of its over-the-counter medicines business, affirmed it expects to make a decision this year.

Shares, which have gained 16% over the last year, rose 2.9% to $39.71 in trading midday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Write to Nishant Mohan at and Jonathan D. Rockoff at

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