Pfizer dumping heart disease focus in restructuring

Pfizer is bailing out of heart-drug development, plus obesity and bone-med research, to focus on its more "valuable" R&D programs such as Alzheimer's, cancer treatments and other biotech drugs. Pfizer will be abandoning a field that has produced some of its biggest blockbusters, such as Lipitor. "We still see the programs that we're stopping as having value," said Martin Mackay, Pfizer's head of research and development. "They're just not as valuable as other programs, like Alzheimer's or oncology."

Overall, the company's pipeline includes 114 programs from Phase I through Registration. Twenty-five of those programs are in Phase III development. And Pfizer again stressed its commitment to developing biologics, saying that the company is vigorously driving its biotechnology investments and has 16 biotherapeutics in development. It also has seven other cancer programs in Phase III. The new R&D focus will include such disease areas as including oncology, pain, inflammation, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

In a memo, Mackay said some workers may be displaced by the changes but that they would find opportunities elsewhere in the company. The shift will away from heart, obesity and bone drugs doesn't apply to any drug that may be launched in the next three years.

- see Pfizer's release
- read the report in the Wall Street Journal
- check out the story in Forbes