Pfizer announced Wednesday it was discontinuing all trials of experimental lung cancer drug PF-3512676 after an independent data safety monitoring committee determined chemotherapy was equally effective with or without use of the drug. The drug had been licensed from small cap biopharma firm Coley Pharmaceutical Group. Four trials were canceled in all, including two late-stage and two mid-stage. Coley Pharma shares fell nearly 60% on the news; Pfizer shares fell 1.9% amid widespread market losses Wednesday. In another blow to Pfizer, the FDA delayed the approval of its HIV drug maraviroc, believed capable of bringing in $500 million a year in sales. It was widely believed the FDA would approve the drug this week. The agency instead presented Pfizer with an 'approvable letter,' which means the FDA believes a product is worthy of approval, but still needs additional information.
Sources: Press release, Reuters, AP, Wall Street Journal, CNBC.com
Commentary: Monogram’s Drug Resistance Tests Used By Pfizer • Pfizer's Maraviroc Suppresses AIDS Virus in Clinical Trial • Pfizer's Axitinib Shows Positive Results Against Pancreatic Cancer in Phase II Trial
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Pfizer (PFE), Coley Pharmaceutical Group (COLY). Competitors: Amgen (AMGN), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY), Glaxosmithkline (GSK), Eli Lilly (LLY), Teva (TEVA), Merck (MRK), Schering-Plough (SGP), Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), AstraZeneca (AZN). ETFs: iShares Dow Jones US Pharmaceutical Indx (IHE), Pharmaceutical HOLDRS (PPH), Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT)
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