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



Why Are Pfizer's Shares Down on an Up Day?

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

It's become painfully obvious there's very little chance that Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE  ) tanezumab will become the blockbuster that Pfizer and investors thought it would.

The pharmaceutical giant announced yesterday that the Food and Drug Administration wants the company to stop clinical trials testing the pain medication in diabetics with nerve pain and patients with chronic lower back pain. The result is a drop in the share price.

As you may recall, the agency put a clinical hold on studies involving patients with osteoarthritis after a "small number" of patients saw their condition get worse after taking tanezumab. The company said then that it was going to try and convince the FDA that the side effect was specific to patients with osteoarthritis.

Apparently, it failed.

Pfizer is allowed to keep testing the drug in areas of high unmet need, like in patients with cancer pain. The drug may be able to gain some traction in those indications since deteriorating joints are of less concern if you're dying of cancer. But for now, it looks like the drug won't be used for big indications like back pain and osteoarthritis.

Perhaps with more data, Pfizer might be able to restart the other programs, but the side effect will always be hanging over the drug. Even if it's approved, tanezumab may have trouble gaining traction in the marketplace.

On the flip side of the coin, a lack of additional competition is anything but painful for some competitors. In addition to drugs like Smith & Nephew's (NYSE: SNN  ) Supartz, sanofi-aventis' (NYSE: SNY  ) Hyalgan, and Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ  ) Orthovisc that treat osteoarthritis, we can add Eli Lilly's (NYSE: LLY  ) Cymbalta, which treats nerve pain, to the list of drugs that are benefiting from tanezumab's misfortune.

Pfizer still has Lyrica, which treats nerve pain, and Celebrex, which patients with osteoarthritis use. But new products are the lifeblood of a pharmaceutical company, and Pfizer could use some to relieve its own pain.

Pfizer is a recommendation of the Motley Fool Inside Value newsletter. If you're interested in picking through the wreckage for possible turnaround candidates, you should have the Inside Value team on your side. 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. Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor selection, and Motley Fool Options recommended buying calls on the stock. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (4)

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: 1239559, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/25/2016 8:53:52 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 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

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

9/23/2016 4:00 PM
PFE $34.26 Up +0.11 +0.32%
Pfizer CAPS Rating: ****
JNJ $118.81 Down -0.65 -0.54%
Johnson and Johnso… CAPS Rating: *****
LLY $81.16 Down -0.13 -0.16%
Eli Lilly and Co. CAPS Rating: ***
SNN $33.35 Down -0.23 -0.68%
Smith and Nephew CAPS Rating: ****
SNY $38.35 Down -0.22 -0.57%
Sanofi CAPS Rating: *****