PHARMACY

Pfizer’s vice chairman Shedlarz announces retirement

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Pfizer said Thursday that after 31 years with the comany vice chairman David Shedlarz will retire at the end of this year.

Shedlarz, who joined Pfizer in 1976, held positions of increasing responsibility at the company. He became vice chairman of Pfizer in 2005.

Shedlarz’s contributions to the company include helping to shape the strategic direction that drove Pfizer’s growth to pharmaceutical industry leadership; fifteen years of service on Pfizer’s senior management committee and ten as its chief financial officer; and leading the integration of the Pharmacia acquisition as well as the successful sale of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

“Throughout his Pfizer career, David Shedlarz has demonstrated integrity and an enduring commitment to our company and its mission,” said Jeffrey Kindler, chairman and chief executive officer. “Since I became chief executive officer a little over a year ago, David has been a valuable partner to me as our new team has worked together to drive fundamental changes in how Pfizer does business.”

No announcement was made regarding a replacement.

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PHARMACY

GSK ready to cut jobs following quarterly losses

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline is ready to let some of its workers go to make up for its recent report of lost earnings.

The company reported that total pharmaceutical turnover for the third quarter fell by 2% to $9.4 billion. In the United States, turnover fell 7% to $4.5 billion, impacted by continued generic competition and largely because of a 38 percent drop in sales of its diabetes drug Avandia.

The plan is a three-year $1.4 billion move that includes job cuts, most likely starting at its Avandia sales force. According to the London Times, the company is awaiting what the Food and Drug Administration will report about their findings on Avandia and if it should receive a “black box” warning for heart attack risks.

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FDA approves Marillion NDA for novel cancer treatment

BY Drew Buono

MALVERN, Pa. Marillion Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for it investigational new drug application for its lead product candidate MN-201, a vitamin D5 analog for the treatment of cancer.

The drug will now proceed to Phase 1 human clinical trial for patients with advanced tumors in various cancers.

In preclinical studies, MN-201 performed well against cancer cells. In animal models, MN-201 also resulted in anti-tumor activity including tumor regression in xenograft models of major solid tumor types. In contrast to treatment with other vitamin D(3) analogs and the naturally occurring vitamin D hormone, calcitriol, favorable anticancer effects with MN-201 were observed in the absence of significantly raised calcium levels.

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