Oral insulin, the ‘holy grail’ of the diabetes pharmaceutical industry, is swiftly becoming a reality for Western markets. Pfizer, the drug giant, has just bought out a European drug-maker in an enormous deal concerning Exubera. Pfizer reputedly paid $1.3 billion to buy out successful French company Sanofi-Aventis. The deal gives Pfizer exclusive worldwide rights to market the drug, which is predicted to be very successful, as well as a drug-making facility in Germany.
Exubera is predicted to receive regulatory approval in the US later this year, and the Deutsche Bank estimates that annual sales could rocket to $1.3bn in the year 2008. Pfizer leapt on a change-of-control clause after Exubera was taken over by Sanofi in 2004.
The deal marks a fresh attempt by Pfizer to extricate themselves from a slide in business Falling sales have led to declines in profit growth, and Pfizer are keen to turn their fortunes around. For this reason, they have acquired four major drug products to launch this year. Confidence in the company is at a low, and investors are reported to be very aware of the challenge facing the company.
Patent expiries on several of Pfizer’s key drugs are perceived as the cause of the profit growth decline, and despite restructuring and cost-cutting initial report have not been confident.

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