Pfizer's Other Big News

Pfizer (PFE) palbociclib may soon join drugs from Novartis (NVS) and AstraZeneca (AZN) in treating breast cancer.

May 19, 2014 at 1:05PM

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) has confirmed plans to file its promising breast cancer drug palbociclib for FDA approval in the third quarter. If approved, Pfizer could enjoy significant revenue, given it will be dosed alongside Novartis' (NYSE:NVS) Femara, a breast cancer treatment for post-menopausal women, with nearly $400 million in annual sales.

However, the market for palbociclib could eventually be much bigger. Studies are also being conducted evaluating palbociclib alongside AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) Faslodex, which generates roughly $700 million in annual sales, and instead of Roche's Xeloda, which had sales of more than $1.5 billion last year.

PFE Chart

PFE data by YCharts

Palbociclib put up impressive mid-stage trial results in patients with ER+ and HER2- advanced breast cancer. That subset makes up roughly 60% of advanced breast cancer patients.

Patients with metastatic breast cancer receiving palbociclib and Femara didn't see their disease progress for 20.2 months, versus 10.2 months for Femara alone. Overall survival, while not statistically signfiicant, also improved to 37.5 months from 33.3 months for those taking only Femara.

Since palbociclib has FDA breakthrough status, those results appear good enough that Pfizer thinks it has a good chance of winning FDA approval without phase 3 trial data in hand.

Competing for share
Increasingly, drug developers are conducting studies that would complement, rather than replace, current treatment. That offers the potential to enhance survival and significantly expand the market for breast cancer treatment, as longer-living patients progress from therapy to therapy.

Pfizer isn't alone in believing that there's a substantial opportunity to develop adjunct treatments. Novartis is also developing a drug for ER+, HER2 negative patients. Novartis LEE0011, which targets the CDK 4/6 enzyme, a key to cell proliferatin, entered phase 3 breast cancer trials in December

Additionally, Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is also working on a CDK4/6 drug, LY2835219. Lilly has ongoing trials studying its use in mantle cell lymphoma, lung, breast, and skin cancer. In April, Lilly reported that 47 heavily pre-treated metastatic breast cancer patients participated in a phase 1 trial of LY2835219, and that the disease progressed in just 11 patients at 24 weeks.

Building an oncology franchise
If approved, palbociclib would join two Pfizer drugs already successfully competing for oncology market share. Xalkori, a drug approved as a treatment for ALK positive non-small-cell lung cancer generated sales of $88 million in the first quarter, up 69% from a year ago. Inlyta, a kidney cancer drug, also had sales of $88 million last quarter, up 46% from last year. Pfizer may also see its oncology presence jump markedly if it succeeds in winning over AstraZeneca shareholders.

AstraZeneca has rebuffed Pfizer's overtures so far, notably shutting down an offer earlier today. But that hasn't halted Pfizer's interest, which is driven, in part, by AstraZeneca's promising oncology drugs. Drugs in AstraZeneca's pipeline target ovarian cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer, and oncology drugs already on the market produced more than $700 million in revenue for AstraZeneca in the first quarter.

Fool-worthy final thoughts
The World Health Organization reports that there were 1.7 million cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2012 globally, and that breast cancer incidence has climbed 20% since 2008. That suggests the market for breast cancer treatment may--unfortunately--continue to grow. According to the National Cancer Institute, spending on breast cancer could total as much as $25 billion in 2020, up from $16 billion in 2010.

The significant unmet need and patient population growth suggest that palbociclib could eventually generate significant sales for Pfizer. Currently, industry analysts predict palbociclib's annual sales could range between $1 billion and $6 billion a year.

Top dividend stocks for the next decade
The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now.

Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd owns E.B. Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may or may not have positions in the companies mentioned. Todd owns Gundalow Advisors, LLC. Gundalow's clients do not have positions in the companies mentioned.The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers