Having reaped the benefits of blockbusters like the cholesterol-lowerer Lipitor, Pfizer is now placing its trust in biotechnology for future growth, chief executive Jeffrey Kindler has told the Chicago Tribune.

In an interview with the newspaper, Mr Kindler said that "the dependence on a couple of large blockbuster products is not a good model”, hence the firm’s decision to spend $68 million on acquiring Wyeth. He added that "If Pfizer of the past was best known for a few very large blockbuster drugs, then the new Pfizer is vastly more diversified".

Wyeth specialises in biotechnology-derived vaccines and therapies for cancer and, hopefully, Alzheimer's disease. Mr Kindler noted that while success in biotech is often equated to the likes of Amgen and Genentech, Wyeth's technologies are as good, if not better and he likes the variety of products that the new buy will offer.
"Having a diverse portfolio is very prudent," he added.

Mr Kindler claimed that Wyeth’s efforts in developing treatments for Alzheimer’s, notably through its joint venture with Elan Corp, will be a benefit to Pfizer, which already markets Aricept (donepezil) for the disease. However, the latter “doesn't cure the disease, it modifies symptoms over time," he said, adding that "when you come to something like Alzheimer's, it becomes more of an effort to try different things to succeed”.