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Pfizer Talks Up Phase III Pipeline To Offset Lipitor Pain

Executive Summary

After completing a comprehensive review of its research program, Pfizer is rebuilding its late-stage pipeline, with plans to initiate Phase III studies for four new molecular entities and multiple new indications for existing drugs in the next 12 months

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Second Quarter Earnings, In Brief

Pfizer's smoke and mirrors: With all eyes on Pfizer's impending loss of exclusivity for several major brands - chiefly Lipitor - the pharma giant is sticking to its position that it can withstand the looming losses with a refueled pipeline and by extending its global reach in markets like China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia (a strategy that has not been embraced by investors). During a July 23 second quarter earnings call, CEO Jeff Kindler said the firm is still on track to move 15 to 20 projects into Phase III in 2008/2009 as part of its five-pronged growth strategy, outlined during Pfizer's March analyst day (1"The Pink Sheet," March 10, 2008, p. 3). The firm has had five Phase III starts since then. "In short, we are doing what we said we would do," he stated. "We are all about executing against those strategies," Kindler added. Wall Street isn't all about Pfizer, however, and analysts continue to be somewhat wary of the company's ability to deliver the kind of growth that can offset Lipitor revenue losses

Second Quarter Earnings, In Brief

Pfizer's smoke and mirrors: With all eyes on Pfizer's impending loss of exclusivity for several major brands - chiefly Lipitor - the pharma giant is sticking to its position that it can withstand the looming losses with a refueled pipeline and by extending its global reach in markets like China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia (a strategy that has not been embraced by investors). During a July 23 second quarter earnings call, CEO Jeff Kindler said the firm is still on track to move 15 to 20 projects into Phase III in 2008/2009 as part of its five-pronged growth strategy, outlined during Pfizer's March analyst day (1"The Pink Sheet," March 10, 2008, p. 3). The firm has had five Phase III starts since then. "In short, we are doing what we said we would do," he stated. "We are all about executing against those strategies," Kindler added. Wall Street isn't all about Pfizer, however, and analysts continue to be somewhat wary of the company's ability to deliver the kind of growth that can offset Lipitor revenue losses

Pfizer Confident In Lipitor Backup Plan, But Wall Street Seems On The Fence

Although Pfizer maintains it has a reasonably failsafe plan in place to weather the loss of exclusivity for its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor and other products in coming, Wall Street appears less confident in the drug maker's ability to come out ahead

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