Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Another Pfizer Pfailure

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE  ) Sutent is on a roll. Unfortunately, it's not the kind that can boost sales and increase the share price. The drug failed another clinical trial yesterday -- this time in liver cancer.

Sutent is already approved for kidney and gastrointestinal cancers and has been shown to work on pancreatic cancer as well. But to boost sales substantially, Pfizer needs to get it approved for another indication.

Things haven't worked out that way. Let's review the bidding: Testing against Roche's Xeloda in breast cancer? Fail. Against Roche's Avastin in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY  ) Taxol? Fail. Against placebo in combination with sanofi-aventis' (NYSE: SNY  ) Taxotere and another testing it when combined with Roche's Xeloda? Fail, and fail.

Breast cancer is a tough market to break into, but you'd think investors would have had higher hopes for liver cancer. After all, Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals' (Nasdaq: ONXX  ) Nexavar is approved for kidney cancer, just like Sutent is, while also being approved for liver cancer.

Sutent failed there, too. Pfizer stopped the trial because of higher incidence of serious adverse events and because it was clear that the trial wouldn't be able to show that Sutent was as efficient as Nexavar. The failure is a clear win for Onyx, which rose by nearly 9% today on the news.

Pfizer hasn't given up hope, though. The company is still testing Sutent in lung cancer (good luck) and prostate cancer (another tough one), and as an adjuvant in kidney cancer. The last one, treating kidney cancer patients who have surgery, could be its best option, as Pfizer has already shown that the drug works on patients with advanced kidney cancer.

Of course, Nexavar is in similar trials, so even if Sutent actually breaks its losing streak in the clinical trial realm, that may not translate to a win in the marketplace. It depends on the survival numbers for each drug's clinical trial.

Sutent may not be a winner, but Tom Gardner thinks this stock will remain one.

Pfizer is a recommendation of the Inside Value newsletter service. The Inside Value team scours high and low to bring you the best value stocks available. Check it out for free with a 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1163073, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 10:21:50 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 hour ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:00 PM
PFE $32.18 Down -0.36 -1.11%
Pfizer CAPS Rating: ****
BMY $50.02 Down -0.34 -0.68%
Bristol-Myers Squi… CAPS Rating: ****
ONXX.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Onyx Pharmaceutica… CAPS Rating: **
SNY $37.75 Down -0.32 -0.84%
Sanofi CAPS Rating: *****