PFizer's (PFE) Promising New HIV Drug

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Pfizer (PFE) has FDA approval for a new drug that "blocks the CCR5 co-receptor that serves as a main doorway for the HIV virus into immune cells."  It will be marketed as Selzentry and is the first of a new generation of drugs that will bring new pharma R&D to the fight against AIDs.

According to industry analysts, the drug could have annual sales of $500 million within three to four years.

A January research study described the new treatment "a potent new class of antiyirals for the treatment of HIV infection"

Given the PR beating the drug companies take, it is good to see some positive news.

Pfizer could use it. The company is trying to rebuild in the face of generic competition. In an interview with The Associated Press a company executive was upbeat about progress:  "I think so far we’re on track to deliver on the goal of tripling the number of compounds in the Phase III pipeline by 2009," said John LaMattina, president of Pfizer’s global research and development.

The company’s shares closed at $24.11 today, within hailing distance of their 52-week low.

Douglas A. McIntyre