Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson have nixed development of one of the most closely watched drugs in their pipelines, bapineuzumab, after two Phase III clinical trials for the experimental Alzheimer's therapy ended in failure.
With Pfizer's animal-health unit now being spun out after a major retooling that has included deep cuts on the R&D side of the business, the big question now is whether Pfizer has a sensible research strategy in place as it concentrates its full attention on drug development.
Pfizer's quest to gain an approval for a potential new blockbuster for rheumatoid arthritis has run into a speed bump at the FDA. Following a lopsided expert panel vote in its favor back in May, Pfizer CEO Ian Read told analysts on Tuesday that the agency is looking for some additional data analysis before it can come up with a formal decision on marketing the JAK inhibitor.
No sooner had the world learned of disappointing clinical results on Elan Corp.'s ($ELN) Alzheimer's therapy, bapineuzumab, than pharma prognosticators started handicapping chances that it would be bought out by Biogen Idec ($BIIB).
Bapineuzumab failed to best placebo at easing symptoms of mild-to-moderate disease.
Pfizer ($PFE) and Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) are reporting that in the first of four Phase III trials, bapineuzumab failed to outperform a placebo in moderating symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's, a clinical train wreck that will only raise further doubts about the R&D track they laid down.
Mark Schoenebaum and the ISI group assessed the odds 146 prominent investors were giving to both Eli Lilly and the J&J/Pfizer drugs, solanezumab and bapineuzumab.
The stakes are high for the experimental Alzheimer's drug bapineuzumab, which analysts give a low chance of proving effective against the memory-stealing disease.
Any forward-looking student of the biotech industry will have to check out Adam Feuerstein's review in TheStreet of 22 Phase II and III clinical trials--21 drugs and one diagnostic test--which are expected to read out by the end of this year.
Investigators will test the drug in a region of Colombia where a particular genetic mutation is known to trigger the early onset of Alzheimer's.