The huge sales generated by Prevnar 13 mean Pfizer appears to have the pneumococcal vaccine sector sewn up, but Genocea Biosciences sees an opportunity to disrupt the monopoly. This week, the biotech began a Phase I clinical trial of the vaccine it thinks can unseat Prevnar.
It was March 2010 when Pfizer first lost its bid to escape a $142 million racketeering verdict, with a federal jury ruling the company's marketing of epilepsy treatment Neurontin violated both federal and state law. Now, nearly four years later, Pfizer's appeal process has come to the end of the line. The Supreme Court has refused to hear the drugmaker's appeal, leaving the verdict intact and the door open for similar claims to proceed.
Pfizer has joined the list of Big Pharmas caving to public pressure and opening up their data vaults, and that could mean a valuable trove of study results for CROs plotting new trials--assuming the drugmaker feels like sharing.
Vaccines have basically worked the same way for decades. A pathogen antigen is isolated, used as the basis of a vaccine and administered to the patient. The Pentagon thinks there might be a better way of doing things, and it has tasked Pfizer with investigating its hunch.
Biopharma researchers have accrued a huge library of chemical safety data over the past 60 years, but--as is often the case--much of it is tied up in formats that make computational analysis impossible.
Pfizer says it will support the trend toward making more data from clinical trials available by providing easy-to-understand summaries to patients who participate in the independent studies.
With pressure growing on Big Pharmas to be more transparent with their drug data, Pfizer says it plans to start unlocking the data vaults, with special plans to allow easy access for patients in studies to check out their personal info.
With pressure mounting on drugmakers to make clinical trial data more transparent, Pfizer has started to take steps to open up its results, unveiling more concrete details and a timeline for adoption this week.
Pfizer has always been proud of its design of Viagra, which has become known worldwide for its blue color and diamond shape. It thinks enough of it that it is fighting a pitched legal battle in Korea with drugmaker Hanmi Pharmaceutical over the shape of Hanmi's generic, which has grabbed nearly half the market there.
The past few weeks have seen a spate of pharma manufacturing cuts, with Actavis, Merck and Pfizer all whacking jobs. And Pfizer has continued its busy end to 2013 by revealing it is to close a packaging plant in Ireland, laying off 150 workers in the process.