Business World

Saturday 24 March 2018

Merge of Pfizer and AstraZeneca to create 'powerhouse of science', executives tell MPs

Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read
Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read
Chief Executive of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot

David Hughes and Andrew Woodcock

Merging Pfizer and AstraZeneca could create "a powerhouse of science" delivering "much better outcomes" for patients suffering from illnesses including cancers, metabolic conditions and cardiovascular disease, executives from the US company have told MPs.

Pfizer's president of worldwide research and development Mikael Dolsten said a combination of drugs developed by the two companies could extend patients' healthy lives by years, rather than the months or weeks currently delivered.

Dr Dolsten was addressing the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, as the Pfizer bid for UK-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca came under scrutiny by MPs for a second day, following a grilling of both companies by the Business Committee yesterday.

Pfizer chief executive Ian Read told the committee that the proposed merger - which would be the largest foreign takeover in British corporate history - makes sense from a scientific point of view because "we have complementary portfolios of information in cardiovascular, metabolic and oncology".

Dr Dolsten said: "As you get inside into the two companies, you can see a lot of opportunity for a powerhouse of science coming together.

"The companies have complementary drugs in lung cancer. If you have portfolios like that and you study clinical development, you can have an aspiration to provide much better outcomes for patients. Instead of thinking about weeks and months, combination drugs from the two companies could offer outcomes of many years or even longer.

"Cardiovascular and metabolic disease patients, suffering from high glucose, high blood pressure problems, downstream with kidney complication lipids - a combination of the drugs in the pipeline of products in the market offer a much more comprehensive approach to disease management.

"This gives a flavour of what the two companies could be if they could come together and share capabilities."

Press Association

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business