Pfizer CEO targets joint ventures if control issues settled: report

Pfizer CEO Ian Read indicated that the company may pursue joint ventures (JVs) with other drugmakers for developing medicines and expanding in certain countries, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Read suggested that such partnerships could be formed if the "stumbling block" of control could be resolved.

The executive noted that he was more focused on generating more "visibility" around the company's two distinctive core prescription drug businesses, with the "value" division of existing off-patent branded medicines and the core innovative "growth" unit of experimental products in development. Given the growing pressures to cut costs in drug development, Read mentioned vaccines, oncology and neurodegenerative diseases as potential contenders for future partnerships with competitors. Pfizer currently has a JV with Johnson & Johnson focusing on Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, Read said he had decided to undertake an initial public offering of Zoetis largely because Pfizer did not have critical mass, adding that the "higher multiple of the animal health unit compared with Pfizer bore out his decision in the eyes of shareholders," the Financial Times reported. The drugmaker recently announced that it was preparing fully to split off its remaining 80.2-percent stake in the animal health unit.

Further, Read remarked that the company "had strengthened the scientists on its board of directors, and was paying greater attention internally to discussion of science."

To read more Top Story articles, click here.