Pfizer spreads vaccine R&D in post-merger shakeup

The R&D upheaval now underway at the newly merged operations of Pfizer and Wyeth will leave a number of research facilities involved in vaccine work. Wyeth's complex in Collegeville, PA--which had been its U.S. pharma headquarters--is being downsized, though some vaccine work will reportedly continue there. And Pfizer's five main research complexes in Pearl River, NY, Cambridge, MA, La Jolla, CA, Groton, CT and Sandwich in the UK will all have vaccine research responsibilities, according to the AP.

A number of analysts have highlighted the importance of Wyeth's R&D vaccine work in Pfizer's $68 billion takeover. And Minyanville points to a slew of recent vaccine-driven M&A deals, including Abbott's $6.6 billion bid for Solvay and J&J's decision to snap up a big stake in Crucell. Long a stepchild in the biopharma world, the steady revenue and bright prospects afforded by vaccines has made it one of the industry's hottest sectors.

"As more diseases become amenable to fixing or prevention through vaccine, the market expands," says Les Funtleyder, Miller Tabak analyst and author of Healthcare Investing: Profiting from the New World of Pharma, Biotech and Health-Care Services. "Once a vaccine is put on the recommended list for people to get, it will always provide a certain amount of demand."

- read the M&A trend story from Minyanville
- here's the AP round-up