The leader in pharma sales, Pfizer is well known thanks to several household name drugs, including Lipitor, Advil, Celebrex, Zithromax and the ever-abundant "little blue pill," Viagra. As the company looks at the looming Lipitor patent cliff, CEO Ian Read has been searching for new methods to keep revenue high, other than new approved drugs. Recently, the company has been considering spinning off portions of the company to create smaller, more profitable arms, a polar opposite of former CEO Jeffrey Kindler's bulk-up strategy of years past. The company's past purchases and mergers have included King Pharmaceuticals, Warner-Lambert, SUGEN and a $68 billion purchase, Wyeth, in 2009.

Wyeth provided Pfizer with an influx of 17 new drugs and vaccines, including Enbrel, Effexor, Prevnar and Pristiq, and Pfizer declared the merger made them "one of the most diversified companies in the global health care industry." And the company continues to move forward as it focuses on hot areas, including Alzheimer's, oncology and vaccines.

The company's legal woes have caused headaches as well. Pfizer has paid over $340 million in settlements for its menopause treatment, Prempro and has 1,200 cases pending for the anti-smoking drug Chantix. Back in 2009, it paid $1.3 billion for illegal marketing fines for the painkiller Bextra, making it the largest fine in United States history.

Pfizer has stayed in the top two on FiercePharma's annual layoffs list for the past three years, thanks in part to the company's 2009 megamerger with Wyeth, and the pressure could be felt for another five years. The company also placed second in the Top 15 R&D Budgets, with $7.4 billion in 2009. But those numbers will continue to slip as Pfizer looks towards development deals instead of in-house research.



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Report: U.K. academic R&D alliances are expensive but worth it

A report commissioned by the United Kingdom government has found data to corroborate a widely held belief: R&D collaborations with British universities are expensive. Yet with such institutions performing world-class science--and tax breaks and funding schemes offsetting the upfront costs--Big Pharma is lining up to strike deals. Just ask Pfizer.

GSK, Pfizer, AstraZeneca collaborations tilt U.K. academics to Big Pharma

Just days ago, GlaxoSmithKline signed the first big deal with the Francis Crick Institute. And now a high-profile examination of the state of play of partnering in academic research circles, the Dowling Report, says Glaxo is the single largest collaborator with academia in the U.K., for any industry.

Pfizer, SV give GSK spinout money to expand into schizophrenia research

Autifony Therapeutics has returned to its investors for £8 million ($12 million) to fund a broadening of its R&D ambitions. The company, which spun out of GlaxoSmithKline with an age-related hearing loss program in 2011, is now going after schizophrenia.

Expect vaccines market to swell to $40B by 2020: Tufts CSDD

Two recently-published market analyses paint a picture of a competitive but growing vaccines field through 2020, with the newest report from Tufts University stating the industry is on track to post $40 billion in annual sales in 5 years.

Pfizer announces it will shutter India plant, echoing same news from Sandoz

Pfizer will be closing a plant in India later this year. The announcement comes less than a week after Novartis announced that its Sandoz generics unit would close a plant in India at the end of 2016.

Pfizer closing India plant, laying off workers

Pfizer intends a close one of its plants in India, a facility that has sat mostly idle for two years. But it is not as if Pfizer will be short on manufacturing capacity in the country. As soon as it completes its $15 billion deal to buy Hospira, it will get that company's massive manufacturing network there, including a brand-spanking-new plant in Vizag.

Pfizer opens Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine in Chile

Pfizer debuted its Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine in Santiago, Chile, last week, bulking up in Latin America, not exactly a hot spot for pharma industry R&D.

Biopharma's 10 highest-paid heads of R&D

The year's 10 highest-paid development executives pulled in $124.4 million in total compensation, a roughly 35% jump over 2013's top earners. And while each entrant benefited from meeting individual company goals, the whole group benefited from biopharma's macroeconomic moment in the sun, as the value of stock awards skyrocketed alongside the industry index.

BMJ: Pfizer, Allergan antidepressants show no links to birth defects

Antidepressants have long been linked to an increased risk of birth defects, with companies fighting claims that the meds cause serious issues in newborns if women take the drugs during pregnancy. Now, a new study published in the British Medical Journal shows that only some of the drugs turn up risks of birth defects, dealing a spate of good news to companies making the products.

Pfizer brings S. aureus jab to PhIIb as it keeps the gas on vaccines expansion

Pfizer CEO Ian Read has long maintained that the company's vaccines unit should expand beyond the superstar pneumococcal disease blocker Prevenar. In addition to several moves last year and into this year, the company continued that work this week with the announcement of a "pivotal" trial for a surgical site infection candidate.