After working with 58 hospitals for 5 years to evaluate the efficacy of Prevnar 13 in 85,000 people aged 65 years and older, Pfizer ($PFE) finally has the data that could shape its near-term future. The New York-based drugmaker is keeping the data under wraps until next month, but has revealed the headline results. Primary and secondary objectives were all met.
Pfizer designed the trial--which it claims is the largest ever of its type--to show whether its blockbuster Prevnar 13 prevents community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The vaccine was reportedly effective in preventing CAP cases caused by the 13 strains it protects against, prompting Pfizer to conclude the trial met its primary objective. Prevnar also met its secondary goals of preventing non-invasive CAP and invasive pneumococcal disease. Pfizer will release a more detailed look at the data at a conference in India next month.
Without a closer look at the results it is impossible to gauge how significant the data is to Pfizer, but the positive initial release means the company is still on course for getting an expanded recommendation. Last month analysts told The Wall Street Journal an expanded recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices could add $1 billion a year to Prevnar sales. Pfizer's stock was up more than 3% in pre-market trading following the release of headline results from the trial.
Declining sales in the U.S. and some key international markets caused the revenue generated by Prevnar to dip below $4 billion last year. Securing an expanded recommendation and convincing physicians the vaccine prevents pneumonia could spur a fresh surge in sales and play an important role in returning Pfizer to growth.