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

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

19 hours ago

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.