Pfizer plans reorganisation and reshuffle

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drugmaker, said it will split up its three major internal businesses and shuffle the management that leads them, part of the company’s preparation for a further breakup.

Pfizer in 2012 sold its infant nutrition business to Nestle SA for $11.9bn (€8.97bn) and this year spun off its $4.3bn-a-year animal-health unit.

The latest reorganisation divides what’s left of the company into two brand-name drug units and a generics business, the company said in a statement.

Chief executive Ian Read is positioning the New York-based drugmaker for a potential breakup that may leave just two units intact: A brand-name drug business with higher margins and growth, and a cash-generating “value” business composed of the company’s off-patent products.

Such a split could happen in two to three years, Mr Read has said.

“This represents the next steps in Pfizer’s journey to further revitalise our innovative core,” Mr Read said in the statement. “Our new commercial operating model will provide each business with an enhanced ability to respond to market dynamics, greater visibility and focus, and distinctive capabilities.”

Pfizer shares rose less than 1% to $29.50, after jumping 25% in the 12 months through Jul 26.

The changes will give investors a detailed look at the financial results of each segment to help them assess a split.

Geno Germano, who previously ran Pfizer’s speciality and oncology units, will head one, the company said. Amy Schulman, the company’s top lawyer who also ran the drugmaker’s consumer unit, will head another.

John Young, who ran Pfizer’s primary care business, will head the generics business.

Germano’s business unit will have drugs in inflammation and immunology, cardiovascular disease, rare disease, men’s and women’s health, pain and neurosciences, and rare diseases. That would include new potential blockbusters Eliquis, a blood thinner, and Xeljanz, a rheumatoid arthritis drug.

Schulman’s business will include vaccines and cancer drugs, as well as consumer products. Palbociclib, an experimental therapy being studied in breast and other cancers, has the potential to be one of Pfizer’s biggest future products. It would also include Prevnar, a pneumococcal disease vaccine that was the company’s fourth-biggest product in 2012.


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