Pfizer's Pipeline Play

Ahead of earnings Thursday, Pfizer announced plans to license a brain cancer drug from Avant Immunotherapeutics . Will Pfizer continue to buy its way to a promising drug pipeline?

Apparently the world's biggest drug company wants a bigger footprint in oncology, explains CNBC Pharmaceuticals Reporter Mike Huckman. After the closing bell cash-rich Pfizer picked up another item for its pipeline for nearly half-a-billion dollars. That's the potential size of the deal it's doing with a baby biotech called Avant Immunotherapeutics for its experimental brain cancer drug, currently in mid-stage testing.

A key issue for Pfizer continues to be how fast it can rebuild its product pipeline as it faces patent expiration for the blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor, adds Huckman. The drug, which had revenue of $3.4 billion during the fourth quarter, will lose patent protection in 2010.

I would have preferred to see Pfizer do something bigger, says Guy Adami. But it’s a step in the right direction.

I love this news, exclaims Pete Najarian. I think Pfizer had to make a move to fill its pipeline. I bet this is tip of the iceberg. In the space I recommend Pfizer as well as Isis Pharmaceuticals and Amylin .

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