Pfizer ends research for new Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs

  • Pfizer ends research for new Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs

Pfizer ends research for new Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs

The New York-based pharmaceutical company, Pfizer Inc., announced that it will halt research and development into finding new neuroscience medicines aimed at treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. The decision will result in about 300 layoffs in the company's neuroscience discovery and early development programs, which are located in MA and CT, according to a statement emailed to journalists.

The US based company is expected to cut 300 jobs globally including many British researchers based at labs in Andover, Hampshire, and Cambridge.

Pfizer did also stress that late-stage development programmes for tanezumab and Lyrica (pregabalin), as well as rare disease programmes in the neuromuscular or neurology area, will continue to be supported.

A Pfizer spokesman said: 'This was an exercise to re-allocate spend across our portfolio, to focus on those areas where our pipeline, and our scientific expertise, is strongest'.

Pfizer is already one of the founder members of the cross-company Dementia Discovery Fund, which was set up in 2015 by various companies including GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson, but said its new fund will run separately to that effort.

Some of the company's investments, however, have ended in distress. The company also plans to soon start a venture fund committed to neuroscience. In 2012, Pfizer and partner Johnson & Johnson abandoned additional effort on the drug Bapineuzumab after it became unsuccessful in helping patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's in its second time of medical trials.

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.