Pfizer's R&D: Spending vs. Productivity

Dec.11.09 | About: Pfizer Inc. (PFE)

Courtesy of Bernard Munos, author of the Nature Reviews article that I began blogging about yesterday, comes this note about Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) track record with new molecules. His list of Pfizer NMEs since 2000 is Geodon (ziprasidone, 2001), Vfend (voriconazole, 2002), Relpax (eletriptan, 2002), Somavert (pegvisomant, 2003, from Pharmacia & Upjohn), Lyrica (pregabalin, 2004, from Warner Lambert), Sutent (sunitinib, 2006, from Sugen/Pharmacia), Chantix (varenicline, 2006), Selzentry (maraviroc, 2007), and Toviaz (fesoterodine, 2008, from Schwarz Pharma). There are some good drugs on that list, but considering that even just five years ago, the company was claiming that it had 101 NMEs in development, and was going to file 20 NDAs by now, it might seem a bit thin.
Pfizer%20graph%20fixed.jpgClick to enlarge

It might especially seem that way when you look over this graph, also provided by Munos (but not used in his recent article). You can see that Pfizer's R&D spending has nearly tripled since the year 2000, but that cumulative NME line doesn't seem to be bending much. And, as Munos points out, two (and now three) productive research organizations have been taken out along the way to produce these results. It is not, as they say, a pretty picture.