Pfizer Ends Some Researches on New Drugs

Pfizer will no longer be looking for new drugs which could be used to treat Alzheimer’s

Pfizer will no longer be looking for new drugs which could be used to treat Alzheimer’sGETTY IMAGES

The pharmaceutical behemoth said the decision will lead to 300 layoffs from its neuroscience discovery and early development programs in Andover and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Groton, Connecticut.

The job cut is said to take place over several months.

"Any decision impacting colleagues is hard; however, we believe this will best position the company to bring meaningful new therapies to market, and will bring the most value for shareholders and patients", Pfizer said.

According to Reuters, Pfizer will continue to develop some drugs in its neuroscience pipeline, such as tanezumab, for osteoarthritis-related joint pain and Lyrica (pregabalin), which is used to treat nerve pain associated with fibromyalgia and diabetes.

Pfizer, along with along with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY), are part of the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund launched in 2015 to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

The pharmaceutical company is also pulling out of research into Parkinson’s
The pharmaceutical company is also pulling out of research into Parkinson’sANDREW KELLY REUTERS

During the build-up to the JP Morgan conference, the biggest biopharma investment event of the year, Pfizer said it also plans to start a venture fund for neuroscience drugs. The brain is the most complex organ in the body and developing drugs to treat brain diseases is a tremendous challenge, but with no new drug for dementia in the last 15 years, this will come as a heavy blow to the estimated 46.8 million people now living with the condition across the globe.

This comes after many other Big Pharmas, and smaller biotechs, have failed to move the needle on Alzheimer's disease drugs in R&D, making ROI on these types of projects precisely zero. In 2012, Pfizer and partner Johnson & Johnson abandoned additional effort on the drug Bapineuzumab after it became unsuccessful in helping patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's in its second time of medical trials. The University of Texas Southwestern is the first U.S school to participate in the ITEN.

Pfizer said it hopes the ITEN will, "deliver novel therapeutic targets and mechanisms of action to underpin future drug discovery in core areas of interest".

Pfizer is to axe research and development into new neuroscience drugs, leading to around 300 job losses.

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