Pfizer to Advance Industry Leadership Through the Best People, Products And Pipeline, Steere Tells Shareholders
2001 Planned R&D Budget of $5 Billion Leads Industry
Four New Drugs Currently Undergoing Regulatory Review;
Pipeline Includes 7 Late-Stage and 22 Mid-Stage Candidates
GROTON, Conn., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Pfizer Inc is positioned for continuing growth that will sustain its industry leadership, William C. Steere, Jr., chairman, said today at the company's 2001 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Speaking at the Pfizer Global Research and Development Groton campus, Mr. Steere said, "Pfizer is advancing in every area. Our fundamentals are strong. Our pipeline is broad and deep, and our field forces are second to none. Pfizer success depends heavily on the insights, skill and ingenuity of our people. And because of them, I'm extremely confident about our company's future." Mr. Steere, who has been chairman of Pfizer since 1991, is retiring from the post effective May 1. Hank McKinnell, Ph.D., Pfizer's president and chief executive officer, and the incoming chairman, said, "Pfizer capped a remarkable decade of growth and achievement in the year 2000. It is fitting that, today, we honor the architect of that success, our chairman, Bill Steere. Bill joined Pfizer in 1959, coming to a company with $250 million in worldwide sales. Today, Pfizer is the world's most recognized and respected name in pharmaceuticals." Dr. McKinnell said that in the first quarter of 2001, Pfizer had net income growth of 34 percent and diluted earnings per share growth of 32 percent, with both results excluding certain significant items and merger related costs. "We fully expect to generate at least 25 percent average annual EPS growth for the period 2000 through 2002." Dr. McKinnell highlighted Pfizer's industry leading portfolio of pharmaceutical products, noting that it included seven of the world's top 30 selling drugs. Eight Pfizer products, either discovered or co-marketed by Pfizer, are generating annual revenues of more than $1 billion each. Pfizer sees "great room for continued growth for Lipitor", which exceeded $5 billion in 2000 sales. John F. Niblack, Ph.D., vice chairman of Pfizer Inc, and president of Pfizer Global Research and Development said Pfizer has the facilities and technologies for the most sophisticated research approaches, including those based on new understanding of the human genome. Dr. Niblack noted that an important new Pfizer product, Geodon, was launched in the U.S. last month. Discovered and developed by Pfizer scientists, Geodon treats all the symptoms of schizophrenic psychoses and has a very favorable side-effect profile that causes little to no weight gain and has a favorable effect on blood lipid levels. Pfizer expects to follow Geodon with four new drugs that are all currently under regulatory review in the U.S. and/or abroad: Relpax for migraine; Vfend, an antifungal; Spiriva, co-promoted with Boehringer Ingelheim, for pulmonary disease and Valdecoxib, co-promoted with Pharmacia, for pain and inflammation. "Coming next," he said, "are seven major late-stage development candidates, spanning major disease areas from diabetes to atherosclerosis." He detailed progress on three programs scheduled to conclude and be filed for regulatory review this year and next: Exubera or inhaled insulin, co-promoted with Aventis Pharma; pregabalin for treatment of neuropathic pain and epilepsy; and darifenacin for overactive bladder. The other late-stage candidates are lasofoxifene for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis; capravirine for HIV; pagaclone for panic and anxiety disorders; and avasimibe for atherosclerosis. "These important new drug candidates should contribute strongly to maintaining the momentum of Pfizer's pharmaceutical business for years to come." Dr. Niblack also discussed a new agent from the mid-stage pipeline for smoking cessation that relieves both cravings and withdrawal symptoms and blocks the reinforcing effect of smoking. "CP-526,555 clearly works. Studies are in progress to measure safety and efficacy in larger patient populations, and for longer periods of follow-up. If the results from these studies are as good as what we have seen to date, CP-526,555 will move rapidly forward into advanced development." He added that Pfizer has 22 mid-stage candidates which span a spectrum of therapeutic areas as diverse as stroke, pulmonary hypertension, frailty and cancer. Pfizer's R&D pipeline, includes approximately 150 research programs in 19 therapeutic areas. "Many competitors would be daunted by the challenge of pursuing so many opportunities at once," Dr. Niblack said. "We are not." In discussing Pfizer's Animal Health business, Dr. McKinnell noted, " ... that Animal Health has a full pipeline of more than 40 projects in development. This year, we expect approvals of several important new claims and line extensions for our key products. In addition, two new long-lasting antimicrobials for companion animals and livestock have entered full development." Pfizer's Consumer Healthcare Division Shaving Products, Adams Division and Tetra all plan line extensions or launches of new products in 2001, Dr. McKinnell said. Dr. McKinnell also discussed Pfizer's continuing support and development of innovative philanthropic partnership programs to improve access to Pfizer medicines including: -- Diflucan Partnership program in South Africa that is providing $50 million worth of the antifungal Diflucan free of charge to all AIDS patients in that country who do not have access to medications. -- Sharing the Care program in the U.S. which since 1993 has provided more than 1 million uninsured patients with Pfizer pharmaceuticals free of charge. -- International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) that is active in seven countries in Asia/Africa and committed to eliminating blinding trachoma by 2020. Pfizer is contributing more than $60 million in medicines and funding to ITI. Dr. McKinnell said, "As important as these programs are, the best way for Pfizer to help address these global health issues is by discovering and developing breakthrough drugs. We are striving to be the company that does more good for more people than any other company on the planet." Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world's best known consumer products. Pfizer had global revenues of $29.6 billion in 2000. Pfizer plans to make a research and development investment of about $5 billion in 2001. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X59661554RELATED LINKS
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