Drug maker Pfizer Inc. could part with or distance itself from some of its research programs as it rethinks its approach to early development research in rare diseases and cancer treatments, the company said Thursday. The move by Pfizer
would mark a considerable shift for a company trying to carve a path forward as demand for COVID-19 drugs fades and as patents expire in the years ahead, according to Barron’s, which reported the remarks earlier in the day.
A Pfizer representative told MarketWatch via email that the moves were intended to help the company differentiate itself. “Possible options could include collaborations with existing biotechnology or biopharmaceutical companies or establishing a new company, depending on what enables the best path forward,” the spokeswoman said. Barron’s reported that the company said that selling some assets was also an option. According to Barron’s, the segments that Pfizer is targeting for so-called “externalization” were in early stage rare-disease programs focused on cardiology, neurology and gene-therapy programs that weren’t yet under trial. Pfizer is also weighing such options for its gene-therapy manufacturing plant in Durham, N.C., that opened in late 2021, Barron’s said. That facility was part of an $800 million investment, over six years, to build three such facilities. The spokeswoman said that within rare diseases, Pfizer will be shifting to invest in ar …