Pfizer Treatment to Stop Smoking Meets Endpoints

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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Pfizer Inc. ( PFE ) said a clinical study measuring the efficacy and safety of its treatment to help smokers quit met its primary and secondary endpoints.

The drug maker said the study is the first to test varenicline, or its Chantix and Champix smoking-cessation products, on patients who were unable or unwilling to abruptly quit smoking within a month. The smokers in the study were treated by gradually reducing smoking over 12 weeks followed by a 12-week abstinence period.

"Setting a fixed quit date can be daunting to smokers, which is why reducing the number of cigarettes smoked is a commonly used approach to quitting," said Steven J. Romano, head of Pfizer's Medicines Development Group. "This study was designed with this quitting approach in mind."

The study found patients treated with Chantix or Champix were more likely to continue abstinence in the final weeks of the study than those without. The safety of the product was consistent with findings in previous studies.

The findings of Pfizer's latest study will be submitted for publication.

Chantix/Champix was approved by the FDA in May 2006 for people 18 and older.

Pfizer has posted repeated revenue drops in recent quarters as it continues to feel sales pressure from generic competition on its top-selling drugs. The company slowed its research-and-development cuts last quarter as the company enters late-stage clinical trials on several experimental drugs.

Shares rose 21 cents to $31.30 in premarket trading, with the stock up 17% in the past 12 months.

Write to Everdeen Mason at everdeen.mason@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


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