Critics of big takeover deals have argued that they fail to maximise shareholder value and diminish R&D returns, often citing Pfizer’s acquisitive strategy and its difficulty in replenishing its pipeline as an example.
However, Pfizer believes that its new operating structure, which consists of separate small molecule and biologics research divisions, will improve its R&D and make it a leader in each sector.
Jeff Kindler, CEO at Pfizer, said: “Creating two distinct, but complementary, research organisations, led by the top scientist from each company, will provide sharper focus, less bureaucracy and clearer accountability in drug discovery.
“This structure powerfully states our commitment to becoming the industry leader in small molecules, large molecules and vaccines. Our approach to research will fuel our discovery efforts, inspire top talent and translate into high-impact new medicines for patients.”
The biologics division will be led by Mikael Dolsten who is currently president of Wyeth Research and is designed to capitalise on Wyeth’s expertise in the field and Pfizer’s R&D efforts.
Its goal is to find new vaccines, antibodies, proteins, peptides, nucleic acids and other novel modalities, creating a “broad and deep pipeline” that will strengthen Pfizer’s position in the biologics market.
The other research group, focused on creation of small molecules, will be led by Martin Mackay, who currently leads Pfizer Global Research & Development (PGRD).
Each of these divisions will be subdivided into “small, focused scientific teams” that will target specific, high-potential therapeutic areas and be led by chief scientific officers who will be accountable for delivering advances.
In addition another team will be formed, consisting of scientists from Pfizer and Wyeth, which will find and assess new technologies, platforms and pre-proof-of-concept small and large molecules from external sources.