Pfizer will finally see a light in 2006 at the end of the long dark tunnel of 2005, finally emerging from the dramatic cost-cutting initiative announced earlier this week as a much smaller and streamlined enterprise, according to a new report from analysts at Global Insight.

The drug behemoth is expected to witness a 24% decline in income this year as a result of key patent expirations and safety concerns surrounding its top-selling painkiller Celebrex (celecoxib) [[04/04/05c]], [[06/04/05a]]. And market reaction to the radical three-year $6 billion dollar streamlining initiative has been relatively positive, and the company’s share price, which had taken a knocking over recent months, rose marginally on the news. However, the company will have to weather the storm, with little expected in the way of positive news for the pharmaceutical giant in the year ahead.

Importantly, however, Pfizer plans to invest approximately $8 billion in research and development during 2005, compared with $7.7 billion in 2004. The report claims that the bright spot for Pfizer in 2005 will be its R&D capabilities, and has high hopes for Exubera (inhaled insulin), which has been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration and will be co-marketed with French heavyweight, Sanofi-Aventis [[03/03/05c]]. It expects that maturing sales of this product, together with the choloesterol-lowering drug, which combines Lipitor (atorvastatin) with torcetrapib [[01/12/04a]], will help mitigate declining sales of Lipitor. The latter drug is forecast to lose patent protection by 2011 at the latest – earlier if Dr Reddy’s prevails in its bid to launch a copycat version of the product.