Thursday, September 05, 2013

Is Pfizer's Pipeline Filled With Lemmings?

Between 2010 and 2012, Pfizer (PFE-$28.37) stumbled off the patent precipice, as branded drugs that made up 42% of annual pharmaceutical sales, including the $11 billion lipid-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin), the antacid Protonix (pantoprazole), and its glaucoma drug Xalantan (latanoprost ophthalmic solution) lost patent protection.

Walking on the ledge out to 2015, the patent cliff looks just as daunting, as more than 17.5% in sales derived from the company’s existing branded portfolio is at-risk of losing market exclusivity, including two of its top-selling prescription drugs: Enbrel (etanercept) copies are already on the market in Asia and India, and the Novartis AG (NVS) subsidiary Sandoz is readying its own intrusion on Pfizer’s $3.7 billion auto-immune franchise with a biosimilar version for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis; and, the original basic patent for the anti-inflammatory Celebrex (celecoxib) expires on May 30, 2014, which means cheaper copies to Pfizer’s $2.7 billion pain drug could be on U.S. pharmacy shelves no later than January 2015.

Editor David J Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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