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Pfizer reports 4Q loss

Agence France-Presse



A sign for Pfizer pharmaceutical company is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (AFP)

Pfizer reported a fourth-quarter loss Tuesday on lower sales but said the company was on track to re-engineer itself to focus on new game-changing pharmaceuticals.

The pharma giant reported a loss of $337 million for quarter ending 31 December, compared with a loss of $394 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues fell 9.2 percent to $12.7 billion.

Pfizer reported growth in several key drugs, including Eliquis, which prevents blood clots, and Xeljanz, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and has been launched in some places to address ulcerative colitis.

However, Pfizer said the drop in sales reflected an operational decline of $1.1 billion as other products faced competition from generics after losing patent protection.

Having grown through acquisition, Pfizer is restructuring itself and last year combined its consumer healthcare business with that of GlaxoSmithKline in a new venture in which Pfizer has a 32 percent stake.

The company is also uniting its generic business Upjohn with Mylan. Pfizer will own 57 percent of the new company following the completion of the deal, expected by mid-year, said Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla.

Bourla pointed to upcoming releases of clinical testing on drugs and vaccines under development to treat various cancers as well as skin ailments and arthritis.

Pfizer is on track to be “a smaller, science-based company with a singular focus on innovation while also continuing to allocate significant capital directly to shareholders, primarily through dividends,” Bourla said.

Shares of Pfizer fell 1.5 percent to $39.56 in pre-market trading.