Pfizer has announced that it will be ending its neuroscience discovery and early development efforts, an area which includes research into drug development for Alzheimer’s disease. The US based company anticipates losing 300 jobs in its neuroscience discovery and early development programmes in Andover, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Groton, Connecticut. The company said that it will re-allocate this funding to those “areas where we have strong scientific leadership and that will allow us to provide the greatest impact for patients.”
Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, says: “Of course it’s disappointing to hear that Pfizer, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, will be terminating their research efforts in neuroscience, including Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery. The brain is the most complex organ in the body and developing drugs to treat brain diseases is a tremendous challenge, but with no new drug for dementia in the last 15 years, this will come as a heavy blow to the estimated 46.8 million people currently living with the condition across the globe.
“There are still many reasons for people and families affected by dementia to maintain hope. The G7 nations have committed to finding a disease modifying treatment by 2025 and this is still within reach as long as research investment is increased and sustained across the board. Alzheimer’s Society has committed £50m to fund new research at the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) alongside Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Medical Research Council. By working to understand the processes that cause dementia in unprecedented detail, the UK DRI researchers aims to reinvigorate the pipeline for drugs that can slow, stop or prevent this devastating condition.
“Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia and, with this number set to rise, there has never been a more important time for such life-saving research. As we make progress in our understanding of the diseases that cause dementia, we hope pharma will unite with us to turn breakthroughs into treatments that could improve the lives of millions.”