27 November 2019
While much of the focus on Pfizer’s pipeline has been on the breast cancer drug Ibrance, there are four other new drugs worth watching that could turn the stock around.
The future of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer hinges on its pipeline, as Barron’s reported in a cover story over the weekend.
Much of the debate around the company’s coming drugs has focused on a continuing study that could vastly expand the use of the company’s breast cancer drug Ibrance, and boost that drug’s sales by billions of dollars a year. But Pfizer’s pipeline is tremendous, with 24 programs in Phase 3 as of late October.
Below are a few programs to watch; the tip of the company’s R&D spear. For investors looking closely at Pfizer (ticker: PFE), here is a starting point for an examination of its pipeline.
This one’s not in the pipeline anymore, but an important part of the Pfizer story. In May, the company received Food and Drug Administration approval for a drug called tafamidis, which treats a rare heart condition. Sold under the brand name Vyndaqel, the drug remained a major question mark, as few people are diagnosed with the disease it treats, though more are thought to suffer from it.
In the company’s third-quarter earnings release, Pfizer said that 1,500 patients were already on the drug, and reported sales that beat analyst expectations. “HUGE TAFAMADIS launch,” Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat wrote, using all caps, in a note shortly after the release. Analysts now expect Pfizer to sell $1.9 billion of the drug in 2023.
Behind that impenetrable name is an drug under development by Pfizer to treat ulcerative colitis. An antibody that blocks a protein called TNSF15, PF-06480605 is the subject of a Phase 2B study registered earlier this fall. In October, GlobalData analyst Patrick Aiyes said in a release that the drug, following on Pfizer’s current anti-inflammatory Xeljanz, could firm up Pfizer’s hold on the disease area.
“Pfizer could become a dominant player in the [ulcerative colitis] market,”
C. Difficile Vaccine
Pfizer is expected to announce data in the second half of next year on a Phase 3 trial of a vaccine for clostridium difficile, an infection that often sickens hospitalized older adults. If approved, it would be the first vaccine available to help prevent c. difficile infections. The company says that an independent monitoring group found in September that the Phase 3 trial should continue, and suggested that Pfizer expand enrollment in the study.
This drug, a so-called JAK1 inhibitor, is the subject of a continuing Phase 3 study in patients with atopic dermatitis. The company announced results of another Phase 3 trial of abrocitinib in October, saying it met all co-primary and key secondary endpoints related to skin clearance and itch relief. A readout on the continuing study, which compares abrocitinib with the current standard of care, Sanofi’s (SNY) Duprixent, is due in the coming months.
Pfizer’s current vaccine for pneumococcal virus, Prevnar 13, is projected to earn $5.7 billion in sales this year, according to FactSet. The franchise is a major breadwinner for Pfizer. A newer version, which analysts have referred to as Prevnar 20, is currently undergoing testing. The vaccine would protect against seven more strains of pneumococcal disease than Prevnar 13. Pneumococcal disease causes a range of illnesses, including pneumonia.
Pfizer completed enrollment of three Phase 3 studies of the vaccine in adults this fall, and says it plans to submit the drug for FDA approval by the end of next year. The company is also conducting a Phase 2 study of the vaccine in infants. Early results on that study, released in September, were promising.Print
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24 September 2020
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23 September 2020