While attention is firmly focused on its efforts to acquire AstraZeneca, Pfizer has posted a disappointing set of financials for the first quarter.
Net income was $2.33 billion, down 15%, while group turnover was down 9% to $13.35 billion. Pfizer's best-selling drug, Lyrica (pregabalin) for epilepsy, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain, increased 8% to $1.15 billion, though the Prevnar pneumococcal disease vaccine franchise was flat at $927 million. The arthritis and psoriasis therapy Enbrel (etanercept) was up 4% to $914 million outside North America and the COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex (celecoxib) slipped 4% to $624 million.
Sales of the off-patent cholesterol lowerer Lipitor (atorvastatin) fell 27 to $457 million, while the blood pressure treatment Norvasc (amlodipine) was down 8% to $278 million. The erectile dysfunction blockbuster Viagra (sildenafil) declined 19% to $374 million.
Kidney cancer treatment Sutent (sunitinib) decreased 11% to $268 million, while the Premarin (conjugated oestrogens) range of hormone replacement therapies contributed $248 million to Pfizer’s coffers, an increase of 2%. In terms of new products, Inlyta (axitinib) for advanced renal cell carcinoma rose 40% to $88 million, while sales of Xalkori (critzotinib) for advanced non-small cell lung cancer also reached $88 million, up 66%.
Alliance revenues sank 71% to $213 million, hit by the termination in Japan and Europe of the marketing collaboration for Boehringer Ingelheim's chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug Spiriva (tiotropium) and the pact in the USA ended last month. The decline was also due in part to the end of co-promotion for Eisai's Alzheimer’s drug Aricept (donepezil) in Japan.
Chief executive Ian Read said that "despite continuing revenue challenges due to ongoing product losses of exclusivity and co-promotion expirations, I look forward to the remainder of the year given the strength of our mid- and late-stage pipeline, the continued growth opportunities for our recently launched products as well as opportunities for upcoming product launches". He added that within the firm's nnovative pharmaceutical businesses and our established product segment, "I continue to see attractive opportunities to pursue profitable revenue expansion, both organically and through prudent business development".
As for its increased bid of £50 per share for the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, the company limited itself to saying it hopes the offer provides "the basis for AstraZeneca to engage with Pfizer and enter into discussions relating to a possible combination of the two companies".