Pfizer Q3 sound as CEO rules nothing out

Pfizer’s Q3 figures were just above projections, with revenues of $12.36 billion against estimates of $12.3 billion.

However, the company has narrowed its full-year guidance from $48.7 billion-$50.7 billion to between $48.7 billion and $49.7 billion, based mainly on loss of exclusivity to generic competition for various products this year, plus the end of co-promotions for Enbrel in the US and Canada, for Spirivia in certain countries and anticipated generic competition for Celebrex in the US in December 2014.

In developed markets, strong players were epilepsy and pain drug Lyrica, pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar, anticoagulant Eliquis, rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz, cancer treatments Zalkori and Inlyta, and OTC heartburn treatment Nexium 24HR, which was recently launched in the US.

Operational revenues were up 9 per cent in emerging markets, off the back of strong performances for Prevnar and Lipitor, primarily in China and Latin America.

CEO Ian Read highlighted the Priority Review status granted by the US FDA to novel breast cancer compound palbociclib, which, he said, could represent a significant advancement for the treatment of women with advanced breast cancer.

The vaccines division performed strongly, with operational revenues up 19 per cent. Read explained: “We received a positive recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the use of Prevnar 13 in adults aged 65 and over while our marketing application for our meningitis B vaccine candidate, to be branded Trumenba, is under regulatory review in the US with Priority Review status. In addition, we announced that our vaccine candidate in development for C. difficile was granted Fast Track designation by the FDA.”

A new company structure was established at the start of 2014, dividing Pfizer into three: Global Innovative Pharma (GIP), Global Vaccines, Oncology and Consumer Healthcare (VOC) and Global Established Pharma (GEP). Read was careful to point out that all strategic options remained open for the future, refusing to quash the idea of future tax inversion deals, such as had been tried in May with the attempted takeover of AstraZeneca, despite the recent US tax changes.

He noted the fact that the Treasury could still make further changes without notice was “of concern”, but added: “For Pfizer enhanced financial flexibility from re-domiciling is certainly still one potential source of creating value. As we’ve said previously we will look at any business development opportunities based on strategic fit, including operational, portfolio and financial synergies. We continue to evaluate a broad set of potential options on a case-by-case basis to accelerate value creation to shareholders.”

Looking to 2017 and beyond, commercial prospects include ertugliflozin for the treatment of diabetes, bococizumab for cholesterol lowering in high risk individuals, vaccines for hospital acquired infections such as Staph aureus and C. difficile and several biosimilars in oncology and inflammation.

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Pfizer novel breast cancer drug gets FDA priority review

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