Issue Date: August 20, 2012
Pfizer Sharpens Pharma Focus
Pfizer is acquiring worldwide over-the-counter rights to AstraZeneca’s Nexium, a prescription drug approved to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease. Pfizer will pay $250 million to AstraZeneca, which will also be eligible for milestone and royalty payments based on product launches and sales. A Marketing Authorisation Application for OTC Nexium was filed in Europe this year, and a New Drug Application for a delayed-release tablet is expected to be filed in the U.S. early next year. Pfizer hopes to commercialize OTC Nexium in the U.S. in 2014, with launches in other markets to follow. Meanwhile, Pfizer has filed plans with the Securities & Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of up to 20% of its animal health subsidiary, Zoetis. Pfizer did not disclose the number of shares to be offered or the price. The move, which Pfizer announced earlier this year, is part of the company’s continuing effort to focus on human health businesses in the wake of large acquisitions, most recently of Wyeth in 2009. Pfizer’s animal health unit had sales of roughly $4.2 billion in 2011.
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