The culling of the pipeline continues at Pfizer
Trubion said yesterday that Pfizer had decided to nix TRU-015, its lead drug in their partnership to develop a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Pfizer is still looking at a second compound as part of the partnership it inherited via its acquisition of Wyeth.
Pfizer has to be focused and disciplined, bringing only the best drugs into phase 3 development, especially in a competitive rheumatoid arthritis market. The company already sells one treatment, Enbrel, with Amgen
CD20, the molecule that TRU-015 targets, is also the target of Roche and Biogen Idec's
The decision is further complicated by the fact that TRU-015 and its backup compound are both injected. Rituxan, Enbrel, and the other blockbusters in the space -- Merck
There's no guarantee that any of the oral drugs will make it to market, but Pfizer does have to factor in their potential when deciding about pressing forward with other compounds. Pfizer's best-of-the-best strategy should pay off in the long run even if it makes its pipeline smaller right now.
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