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Pfizer to cut 680 jobs in Pennsylvania – Opens A Garage Sale In Drug Development

Posted Jan 10 2010 3:39pm

Here comes some additional unwanted news, and in addition the Great Valley location has also been slated to close sometime during the year.  When this occurs, there will be 670 individuals to either go or find other positions within the company in other locations.image

What is also of interest is the “Garage Sale” that Motley Fool is talking about today with deals on moving some unwanted drug development technologies over to other companies.  In this effort, if they don’t make it, nothing lost as Pfizer is out of the front seat. 

“Last month Pfizer pawned its heart drug ApoA-I Milano off on The Medicines Company (Nasdaq: MDCO), receiving $10 million up front. Pfizer could also get single-digit royalty payments and another $410 million in milestone payments if the drug actually works. Getting something for the drug that hasn't progressed very far since Pfizer acquired it in 2004 isn't that bad until you realize that Pfizer paid $1.3 billion to acquire Esperion Therapeutics, the original owner of the drug. Ouch.

Then yesterday Pfizer announced that it was licensing potential melanoma treatment tremelimumab to Debiopharm. The drug failed its phase 3 trial in 2008, but Debiopharm seems to think that the drug might work on a specific subset of patients. Using biomarkers to select the correct patients got Roche's Herceptin and GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE: GSK) Tykerb approved, and more recently it was discovered that Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY) Erbitux and Amgen's (Nasdaq: AMGN) Vectibix work on patients whose tumors have a specific genetic makeup. Still, I wouldn't pencil in revenue just yet; melanoma is one tough cancer to fight.”

Pfizer must feel that the risk here it too high?  That question I can’t answer but the immediate results are a savings of money, no hard to figure out, but if the companies product a good drug, well who knows, maybe Pfizer would be back knocking on their door.  I remember years ago when they closed in Irvine, California and how I lost a big account as I was still in outside sales at the time and handled all their Warner Lambert business, which has since been acquired by Johnson and Johnson, and it is the over the counter product that make a ton of profits.  BD 

What has been expected since Pfizer Inc. bought rival Wyeth in October is becoming reality: local layoffs.

Pfizer gave formal notice yesterday that it planned to cut 680 jobs from a combined workforce of 4,500 at its Collegeville and Great Valley campuses, where Wyeth had major operations.

Spokeswoman Gwen Fisher said 450 of the layoffs would come from Collegeville and 230 from Great Valley. They will take effect March 12.

The announcement was met with a swift expression of "disappointment" from State Sen. Andy Dinniman, who, along with other area legislators, had been pushing Pfizer to limit any post-merger job eliminations.

"We did not expect that the layoffs would be as great as they turned out to be," Dinniman said in an interview.

"There's not many lenders that want to lend to an investor to buy a vacant property in today's market," Dugan said.

Pfizer to cut 680 jobs at 2 Pa. sites | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/09/2010

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