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Pharma news in brief

Our weekly round-up of the news in brief

Pfizer launches cost-cutting scheme
Pfizer launched another grand cost-cutting scheme, after revealing that it expects revenues to show no growth until 2009. Patent expiries on major products together with harsher US and European market climates have prompted the world's largest pharma firm to cut its previous forecast of ìmodestî revenue growth for the next two years. Pfizer intends to revamp its cost structure, to make it leaner and more flexible and responsive to volatile market conditions. Excluding one-time items, Pfizer's profits rose 7 per cent to $3.9bn, or 54 cents per share, with revenues increasing 9 per cent to o$12.3bn.

CV market expanding
Companies working on cardiovascular drugs will have to formulate strategies centred on combination therapies, adding value through drug delivery technologies and clinical differentiation to overcome generic competition, according to research from industry consultants, Frost & Sullivan. The report, European Cardiovascular Drugs Market Analysis found that the European market for the therapy area earned revenues of $27.5bn in 2005 and estimates this to reach $36.3bn in 2012. ìMany new cardiovascular drugs will certainly come from major pharmaceutical companies even as several small biotechnology or biopharmaceutical companies engaged in cardiovascular drugs development demonstrate promising pipelines with novel drugs,î said Frost & Sullivan analyst, Paljit Mudhar.

Give EMEA increased funding, says biotech association
The European biotechnology industry association, EuropaBio has urged the European Parliament to increase the European Medicines Agency's (EMEA) budget for 2007. ìIt is vital for Europe's life sciences-based progress in healthcare that the EMEA's funds are increased for 2007,î said Dr Andrea Rappagliosi, chairman of EuropaBio's healthcare council. ìThis will mean it can continue its key role as a rigorous scientific and independent expert review body that promotes healthcare for the benefit of patients. The vote takes place in the European Parliament on October 26.

Actavis on the look-out
Actavis, the Icelandic generics firm, which lost out to Barr in the battle to acquire Pliva, is currently sizing up several potential takeover targets. Speaking to the Financial Times, Actavis chief executive, Robert Wessman, said he was actively examining ì10-20 mostly small deals mainly in Europeî and saw a particular need to strengthen his company's presence in central and eastern Europe. He added that he would like to expand the company's interest in Russia and Poland, but also in Italy and Germany. Actavis has launched more than 20 foreign takeovers in recent years but has shown no sign of slowing up in its bid to become one of the top European generics players.

Happy 75th, Baxter
Baxter Healthcare has celebrated its 75th birthday by committing to sponsor the equivalent of 75 years worth of volunteering, working out as 156,000 hours of volunteer time. Employees of the firm across the world will have the opportunity to volunteer to work with local charities. All volunteer time will be logged, with the aim being to reach or exceed the 156,000 hours target by October 19, 2007.

30th September 2008

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