US drugs giant Pfizer is pulling out of research into Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease after disappointing results from new drugs, despite heavy investment.
The money saved will be redistributed and spent on research in other areas, and a new neuroscience venture fund is planned.
The company said it would be cutting 300 positions from the neuroscience discovery and early development programmes in Andover and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Groton, Connecticut.
“This was an exercise to re-allocate spend across our portfolio, to focus on those areas where our pipeline, and our scientific expertise, is strongest,” Pfizer said in a statement.
Failed to help patients
Pfizer helped found the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital initiative, in 2015 along with GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly.
In 2012 Pfizer’s work with Johnson & Johnson on Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab was abandoned after it failed to help patients in clinical trials.
Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, told The Daily Telegraph the decision was a “heavy blow” to the millions of people worldwide living with both conditions.
He told the newspaper: “It's disappointing to hear that Pfizer, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, will be terminating their research efforts in neuroscience, including Alzheimer's disease drug discovery.”