Pfizer to 'spotlight' vaccines following Allergan bust, firm predicts

Pfizer Headquarters
Pfizer headquarters

The collapse of the Pfizer/Allergan megamerger could mean big things for the New York pharma's vaccines unit. In the aftermath, market research firm Kalorama predicts Pfizer ($PFE) will consider business divestitures while continuing to lean on its burgeoning vax unit.

Kalorama publisher Bruce Carlson said in a recent blog post that Pfizer's recent patent expirations "have also impacted Pfizer's revenues, necessitating an aggressive re-positioning of the company's business which has resulted in the expansion of its vaccines operation." Led by the Prevnar franchise with sales of those vaccines coming in at $6.2 billion last year, Pfizer's vaccines unit has been on an expansion streak lately.

Last year, the unit's total revenue grew 44% to $6.45 billion following the CDC's decision the year prior to recommend Prevnar 13 for people over 65. Since then, Pfizer executives have said that the catch-up population is expected to last possibly into 2017, while each year 4 million additional people will reach age 65. Pfizer is also working in individual G7 nations to broaden the vaccine's reach.

Recently, though, Pfizer has made moves demonstrating that it doesn't intend to rely solely on the superstar pneumococcal disease blocker. In the 11 months from July 2014 to June 2015, Pfizer purchased Baxter's marketed vaccines portfolio for $635 million, Switzerland's RedVax for an undisclosed sum and two GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) meningitis ACWY vaccines for $130 million.

In addition to M&A, the outfit is developing vaccines against S. aureus and C. diff; it also unveiled a cancer vaccines platform last summer as part of a "comprehensive" vaccine approach.

According to an EvaluatePharma report last year, the unit is expected to grow 9% through 2020 and will be the second-largest vaccines outfit that year slightly behind Merck ($MRK).

Pfizer called off its Allergan ($AGN) tax inversion last week in response to new U.S. Treasury rules.

- here's Kalorama's release