Pfizer cuts neuroscience research into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
11 Jan 2018
Drug giant Pfizer’s announcement that it will withdraw from neuroscience research into products aimed at treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease has been greeted with dismay by charities.
In a statement the US company said it would seek later to create a new initiative to boost neuroscientific knowledge.
However, it said it will reallocate present funding “to those areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients".
The decision has been received with disappointment by the likes of the Alzheimer’s Society and Parkinson’s UK.
Dr Arthur Roach, Parkinson’s UK Director of Research commented:
"While we are disappointed by Pfizer's announcement, Parkinson's UK will continue to work with urgency and determination in partnership with other pharmaceutical companies to create and develop new treatments on behalf of people with Parkinson's everywhere.
He pointed out that pharmaceutical companies regularly reviewed their research efforts and spend in different areas and noted there were still many manufacturers competing to research treatments.
"For instance, our tireless work with the nine pharmaceutical companies who are members of our Critical Path for Parkinson’s consortium is helping smooth the path for all future drugs by making clinical trials smarter and faster," added Roach.
Pfizer’s decision, while part of a routine review, will have taken into account the relative lack of progress made in recent research. Alzheimer’s Society head of research Dr James Pickett had noted that there has been no new drug for dementia within the last 15 years. Scientists have also noted that, during this period, 99% of trials for Alzheimer’s drugs have failed.
An estimated 850,000 in the UK suffer from Alzheimer’s, while Parkinson’s affects an estimated 127,000 people in the country.