Tags: Pfizer | PFE | pharmaceuticals | stocks

Pfizer Looks to Next Generation of Drugs

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011 11:55 AM

Pfizer (PFE), the world’s biggest drug maker, is dealing with patent losses for several of its major medicines. But it has some replacements in the pipeline, and as the biggest company in the sector Pfizer has ample resources to develop more big-selling drugs.

On the loss side, protection recently expired for antidepressant medication Effexor and ophthalmology drug Xalatan. In November, Pfizer loses the patent for anti-cholesterol medicine Lipitor, the entire industry’s No. 1 earner with global sales of $10.7 billion last year. Next March, the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra comes off patent.

On the positive side, Pfizer has several promising drugs in the late stages of development. That includes cancer medicine crizotinib, cardiovascular medicine apixaban, and rheumatoid arthritis medicine tofacitinib.

In the second quarter, sales of the company’s Lyrica pain drug and Enbrel arthritis drug beat analysts’ expectations. Enbrel revenue gained 13 percent from a year earlier to $914 million, while Lyrica sales climbed 19 percent to $908 million.

Overall, the company recorded profit of $2.61 billion in the second quarter, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier. Revenue fell 1 percent to $17 billion.

Huge windfall

The company is looking to sell its animal health and nutrition businesses, which analysts say could fetch up to $22 billion, giving the company plenty of cash to put to work. Pfizer also is seeking to reduce costs by $4 billion per year, which would help make up for lost revenue.

Standard & Poor’s analyst Herman Saftlas has a four-star buy rating on Pfizer shares. He expects sales to dip “modestly” this year. “The decline should largely reflect anticipated generic erosion in Lipitor. We also see sharply lower sales of other off-patent drugs such as Xalatan and Effexor,” he writes.

“On the plus side, we project solid gains in the Enbrel and Prevnar (a children’s vaccine) lines. We also see higher sales of pain drugs.” The company next reports around Nov. 1.

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Pfizer (PFE), the world s biggest drug maker, is dealing with patent losses for several of its major medicines. But it has some replacements in the pipeline, and as the biggest company in the sector Pfizer has ample resources to develop more big-selling drugs. On the loss...
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Tuesday, 27 Sep 2011 11:55 AM
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