Pfizer breast cancer drug hits midstage study goal (Update)

by Linda A. Johnson

Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. said Monday that a midstage study of its experimental drug for advanced breast cancer, palbociclib, met the main goal.

The world's second-biggest drugmaker said the drug, combined with another medicine called letrozole, increased the time patients survived without tumors growing, compared with women just getting letrozole.

Shares of New York-based Pfizer jumped more than 4 percent early on and were up 38 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $30.79 in afternoon trading on a day when the broader markets fell sharply.

Analysts are closely watching palbociclib, which is for postmenopausal women with certain tumor characteristics found in about 60 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer. It's seen as a potential huge seller.

Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan wrote to investors Monday that he expects the drug to produce annual global sales of $2.9 billion in 2013.

"We believe our forecasts are likely conservative at this point," particularly if palbociclib turns out to also work on lung and blood cancers, Divan wrote in a research note.

He reiterated his "Outperform" rating for Pfizer, saying he likes the company's stock "as a multi-year restructuring story" due to possible bonuses from its pipeline of experimental drugs, "shareholder-friendly capital allocation" and a low share price.

Shares had languished in the teens for several years, then nearly doubled from $17.45 over the past 29 months—still well below the share price for Pfizer's major competitors.

Divan noted Pfizer's comments Monday could raise expectations the company could apply for and receive palbociclib approval a little earlier than expected.

Pfizer said it plans to release detailed results from the latest study, called PALOMA-1, at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in San Diego in early April.

The company is now enrolling patients in a late-stage test of palbociclib. Last April, the Food and Drug Administration designated it a breakthrough therapy, a recognition that helps speed up the review needed for approval.

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pfizer's 4Q net plunges on charges, sales decline

Jan 28, 2014

Drugmaker Pfizer said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit plunged 59 percent because of discontinued operations, restructuring and other charges, and generic competition continuing to siphon off revenue from ...

Pfizer, Teva reach deal to allow generic Viagra

Dec 17, 2013

Pfizer says it reached a settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals that allows the generic drugmaker to launch a copycat version of its popular erectile dysfunction drug Viagra in 2017.

Recommended for you

FDA approves hard-to-abuse narcotic painkiller

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—A new formulation of a powerful narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abusers from snorting or injecting the drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Race affects opioid selection for cancer pain

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Racial disparities exist in the type of opioid prescribed for cancer pain, according to a study published online July 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

FDA approves tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe ...

Tough-to-abuse formulation of oxycodone approved

Jul 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a long-term, around-the-clock treatment for severe pain when other ...

EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—A commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women, the European Medicines Agency said Thursday after a review of the evidence sparked by the French manufacturer's declaration that the drugs didn't ...

User comments