Pfizer Plans New Layoffs, GlaxoSmithKline Prepares for Pivotal Trial Results: Healthcare Business Recap

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) initiates its next series of layoffs, impacting domestic sales representatives who promote Pfizer primary care medicines to physicians. Thus far, no details in regards to the number of salespersons employed by the firm have been reported nor the number affected or when all this will occur. However, a company spokesman confirms changes will come, but that details about the sales force are proprietary.

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On Monday, Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) began a new trial of its experimental Alzheimer’s drug, marking the first mid-stage clinical trial of a promising new class of oral medicines with the potential to stop the production of a protein which many researchers think is the primary cause of the disease. The company reported that it had initiated the trial to study the safety and effectiveness of the drug, MK-8931, in patients suffering from mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) is thought to be the frontrunner in Alzheimer’s research after its solanezumab, in a Phase III trial, was shown in August to slow cognitive declines in patients also with mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Later, the drug failed to meet its overall goal of delaying cognitive and physical decline in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s.

The United Kingdom’s largest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), should have pivotal clinical trial results on as many as 14 medicines during the next two years, among which will include two new products which might change the way cancer and heart disease are treated. The company said on Monday that it is now developing a broader range of drugs than in the past while moving away from the industry’s traditional focus on “blockbusters”.

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