Behind that statement is a complex question. With so much new science to pursue, how does a company like Pfizer prioritize targets, manage risk and deliver sufficient numbers of medicines to expand the business?
Pfizer took a large step toward answering that question in 2009 with the addition of Wyeth and the continued transformation of our approach to discovering and developing new medicines and vaccines. Biomedical research at Pfizer is now organized into two collaborative, highly focused units, PharmaTherapeutics R&D and BioTherapeutics R&D. Each of these units marshals the resources to pursue and prove theories about how either small-molecule chemical compounds or large-molecule, protein-based biologics might prevent or change the course of a disease. At the point of "proof of concept," the potential new medicine or vaccine is transferred to one of Pfizer's customer-facing business groups for large-scale clinical trials, registration and commercialization.
The key words for this approach are focus and accountability. Chief Scientific Officers within our two R&D units lead discovery and early development teams precisely focused on either a therapeutic area or on a specific technology, such as Regenerative Medicine, that cuts across therapeutic lines and provides a platform for advancing scientific inquiry. In terms of accountability, this approach distinctly clarifies who is responsible for each sequence in the multiyear, billion-dollar-plus march from scientific theory to approved, prescribed medicine or vaccine.
The two research units each have the responsibility to bring forward sufficient numbers of potential medicines and vaccines to sustain Pfizer's growth. The customer-facing business units have the responsibility for moving molecules that are proven in concept through the mid-to-late stages of clinical trials to commercialization. Our new model to manage this sequence makes certain that there is strong agreement between research and commercial groups on what to put into clinical trials. This approach also helps us glean valuable lessons from each failure that may boost the chances for future success.
Pfizer recently launched its Regenerative Medicine Unit, whose mission is to build upon fast-evolving scientific progress in understanding the biology of stem cells, and to leverage these opportunities to discover and develop a new generation of regenerative medicines for major medical needs.
Patients in pain need more options than are currently available, and Pfizer has established pain management as one of its "Invest to Win" therapeutic categories. We are exploring several new approaches here, including new ways to block pain signals from being transmitted to the brain and new mechanisms to modify how the brain interprets pain signals from the body. One late-stage candidate, tanezumab, is a monoclonal antibody specific against nerve growth factor, which is theorized to play a role in the development of chronic pain states. Tanezumab is now in Phase III trials as a treatment for osteoarthritis pain and in Phase II for several common, chronic pain conditions, including back pain and the pain of interstitial cystitis, a bladder condition often resistant to treatment through available remedies.
In November 2009 Pfizer signed a commitment to build a new research & development center in Wuhan, China, in the nation's midwest region. When completed, the new center will provide a state-of-the-art platform for global clinical drug development and strategic alliances, and will make Pfizer the first premier biopharmaceutical company to establish operations in Wuhan's fast-emerging scientific hub known as Biolake. The Biolake facility represents an expansion of Pfizer's scientific presence in China and will be an integral part of Pfizer's overall strategy for global growth.
For Our Philosophy on and Commitment to Partnerships Pfizer is interested in working with a wide range of partners, in all phases of scientific and technical development, throughout the world.Go to the Site
For the Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center (BBC) Based in California's Bay Area, our Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center advances Pfizer's commitment to excellence in biotherapeutics leadership by bringing together the right resources, alliances, products and people.Go to the Site
For the Biography of the Leader of Pfizer BioTherapeutics Mikael Dolsten is the President of BioTherapeutics Research and Development, whose mission is to drive toward industry leadership in the areas of biotherapeutics and vaccines.Go to the Site