) announced that its vaccine candidate (PF-06425090) for
clostridium difficile infection has been granted fast track
designation by the FDA. The designation helps to expedite the
development and review process of experimental drugs and vaccines
targeting serious diseases.
The company is developing the candidate (currently in phase II) to
prevent clostridium difficile-associated disease, which includes
life-threatening diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis.
At present, there are no vaccines available to prevent clostridium
difficile-associated disease. As per Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention data, it affects approximately 250,000 people each
year leading to 14,000 deaths in the U.S. If successfully developed
and eventually approved, Pfizer's candidate has the potential to
capture a large part of the market share. However, we note that
several other companies are developing a vaccine for the prevention
of clostridium difficile infection.
We note that Pfizer possesses one of the world's leading vaccine
operations, with total sales of approximately $2 billion in the
first half of 2014. The company's portfolio includes Prevnar 13,
which is indicated for the prevention of various syndromes of
Pfizer carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in
the health care sector include Amgen Inc. (
), Gilead Sciences Inc. (
) and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (
). While Amgen and Gilead are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks,
Alexion carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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