Sector News

Pfizer axing neuroscience jobs, but seeks new VC fund

January 9, 2018
Life sciences

Big Pharma Pfizer, on the eve of J.P. Morgan, the biggest biopharma dating event on the year, will cut around 300 jobs and a number of earlier stage projects from its neuroscience pipeline.

The move will see it back out of work in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, two notoriously difficult areas for the industry, especially the former, which has not seen any real R&D advance in 15 years.

In a statement on Friday, Pfizer said it will be redirecting funds “to those areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients,” adding that its total spending on R&D will not change, which amounted to around $8 billion last year.

The ax will fall predominately in Cambridge and Andover, Massachusetts, and in Groton, Connecticut, with about 100 expected at each site.

Those projects up for the chop are preclinical, early and midstage clinical programs primarily focused on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but Pfizer could outlicense these, or cofund them, through venture investments.

It has a host of meds in these areas, including a phase 2 dopamine 1 activator for Parkinson’s, as well as four phase 1 Alzheimer’s drugs that include PF-05251749 and PF-06648671, a γ-secretase modulator.

This comes after many other Big Pharmas, and smaller biotechs, have failed to move the needle on Alzheimer’s disease drugs in R&D, making ROI on these types of projects precisely zero.

The changes will not hit work on its pain treatments Lyrica and tanezumab, or research into drugs for rare neurological diseases, the Big Pharma stressed.

But the company did say it will set up a neuroscience venture fund “to support continued efforts to advance the field,” although details were not shared. More should come of this later in the year, it adds, and will be focused on external projects.

By Ben Adams

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

December 3, 2022

Sanofi moves into swanky new Paris HQ designed around hybrid work and sustainability

Life sciences

Monday, the French pharma giant officially moved into its new global home base in Paris, dubbed La Maison Sanofi. The 9,000-square-meter (about 96,875-square-foot) facility comprises two historic buildings and will host around 500 employees, the company explained in a release.

December 3, 2022

As CEO Schultz eyes retirement, Teva taps former Sandoz head Francis as its next leader

Life sciences

On the first day of the new year, former Sandoz chief Richard Francis will take the reins from Schultz, who is hanging up his CEO hat to retire on Dec. 31, Teva said Monday. The news comes a little more than two weeks after Teva publicly said it was looking for Schultz’s replacement.

December 3, 2022

General Electric sets healthcare division spinoff plans

Life sciences

General Electric Co. set the terms for the spinoff of its healthcare division, putting an initial value of roughly $31 billion on the soon-to-be-public company. The Boston conglomerate plans to split into three separate public companies by early 2024. Following the healthcare spinoff, it plans to separate its aerospace business from its power and renewable-energy units.