Last month Pfizer pawned its heart drug ApoA-I Milano off on The Medicines Company
Then yesterday Pfizer announced that it was licensing potential melanoma treatment tremelimumab to Debiopharm. The drug failed its phase 3 trial in 2008, but Debiopharm seems to think that the drug might work on a specific subset of patients. Using biomarkers to select the correct patients got Roche's Herceptin and GlaxoSmithKline's
The companies didn't disclose terms, but Debiopharm will be responsible for running the phase 3 trials and then Pfizer will market the drug if it works. It appears Pfizer is reducing its risk by getting someone else to pay for the clinical work in exchange for a cut of the profits if the drug makes it to market.
Cleaning house may be necessary, but Pfizer is really in a no-win situation. If ApoA-I Milano and tremelimumab fail, the company gets nothing, but if either turn out to work investors will question why Pfizer gave away part of a valuable asset.
No one ever said you could get rich from a garage sale.