Pfizer ends research into new Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs

Pfizer to end Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s research

Pfizer ends research into new Alzheimer's, Parkinson's drugs

A pharmaceutical company has said it will stop looking for new Alzheimer's drugs, implicitly accepting that it has wasted billions on failed treatments.

Pharmaceutical research and development is notoriously expensive.

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are both neurodegenerative diseases that damage memory and motor functions, respectively.

The world's largest drugs company Pfizer is abandoning research into finding a treatment for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease after a "series of failures". But that will likely be cold comfort to families struggling with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

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"We have made the decision to end our neuroscience discovery and early development efforts and reallocate funding to those areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients", the company says in the statement (via Reuters).

Pfizer is to axe research and development into new neuroscience drugs, leading to around 300 job losses.

Despite investing heavily in trying to cure both diseases, the U.S. drugs giant has now chose to redistribute funding to other areas it deems more likely to produce results. By 2050, that number is expected to grow to 13.8 million Americans.

'There are still many reasons for people and families affected by dementia to maintain hope.

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Pfizer is not the only company which has disinvested in neuroscience - AstraZeneca culled its research department in 2012, leaving a much smaller neuroscience "iMed" team focused on creating partnerships with external research groups.

"Any decision impacting colleagues is hard; however, we believe this will best position the company to bring meaningful new therapies to market, and will bring the most value for shareholders and patients", Pfizer said.

The decision will result in about 300 layoffs in the company's neuroscience discovery and early development programs, which are located in MA and CT, according to a statement emailed to journalists.

"We are thankful for the contributions of our colleagues who have supported our neuroscience portfolio and are committed to supporting them during this transition".

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