Pfizer who is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has decided close its neuroscience division.
The neuroscience group of the company has nine drugs in clinical development including four for Alzheimer disease. Pfizer has sponsored almost hundred clinical trials over the last 20 years; Pfizer has already weathered several expensive Alzheimer’s drug failures, including dimebon and bapineuzumab. But now Pfizer has decided that the cost of Alzheimer’s drugs research and development may not be worth it.
Alzheimer is a complex disease; which makes it very difficult to develop effective drugs. The researches have focused on drugs targeting beta-amyloid, the plaques found in the brains of people affected by alzheimer’s disease. But questions remains about amyloid theory of Alzheimer’s as anti amyloid drugs continue to fail.
While it is still possible that an anti-amyloid treatment will make it, it is likely that any clinical benefit to patients will be modest. Many other experts believe that Alzheimer’s, like cancer and diabetes, will require a combination of drugs tackling several of its underlying causes
Currently according the information of PhRMA a trade group representing leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, found that less than a quarter of clinical-stage Alzheimer’s drugs are being developed by the large pharma companies.
But it is not all bad news; Pfizer said it planned to set up a venture arm to fund innovative drug targets in earlier stages. Essentially, it will offer venture capital to biotechs, outsourcing R&D of novel Alzheimer’s drugs.