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Pfizer shares plunge after new heart drug Torcetrapib fails clinical trials

Companies / Strategic News Dec 04, 2006 - 10:45 PM GMT

By: Phillipa_Green

Companies

Pfizer shares fell by nearly 12 per cent after the worlds largest drug manufacturer, announced it was halting trails of its heart medicine Torcetrapib , after it revealed deaths and cardiovascular problems among people taking the drug during the clinical trials. The stock was also downgraded by several market analysts on concern that Pfizer's revenue growth will now weaken.

Pfizer shares plunge after new heart drug Torcetrapib fails clinical trials


Pfizer had planned Torcetrapib to replace its existing cholesterol drug Lipitor, which accounts for a quarter of its $51 billion of annual revenue and almost half of Pfizers net income, for when the drugs patent expires in some four years. Lipitor is the world's biggest selling drug and it and another 5 drugs also to have their patents expire in the coming years, account for half of the company's revenues.

The trials resulted in 82 patients died in an trial of 15,000, which was 60% higher than those taking Lipitor. Drugs such as Lipitor, called statins, lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and cut risks of heart related deaths by about one third. Scientists had hoped that new medicines that raise the good cholesterol (HDL) levels, such as Torcetrapib, would result in lower risks.

Pfizers main competitors immediately rose on the news sending AstraZeneca, Merc and Roche soaring as they are developing rival good cholesterol products.


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TessrTorn
15 Jul 08, 07:43
Apple Web service falters on eve of iPhone launch

Apple Inc.'s new data synching service got off to a rocky start Thursday, as some users were denied access to their accounts just hours before the next-generation iPhone is slated to go on sale.


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