Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)’s Aricept intercepts Alzheimer’s market
Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) stock gained 0.64% in Friday’s trading session. The opening price of the shares was $28.14 which touched an intraday high of $28.36 and close at $28.34. More than 18.51 million shares exchanged hands in Friday’s trading session while the average volume of shares traded over 30 days was 27.06 million. The company has a market cap of $187.62 billion.
The Alzheimer’s deterrent
Pfizer is a pharma company that is known for its innovation. One of the most popular medications that it has launched in the market in recent years is Aircept, the Alzheimer’s treatment that the company had developed along with Eisai. This is a cholinesterase inhibitor that prevents acetylcholine breakdown. This chemical messenger is needed for memory and learning. By keeping the levels of acetylcholine elevated, it is possible to keep Alzheimer’s symptoms at bay for an average of 6-12 months in almost 50% of the patients.
In 2012, Aircept’s peak sales stood at $2.4 billion. However, over the last 3 years these figures have dropped drastically. This has primarily been due to the patent expiration of the product. Today, the generic versions of Aircept are available from companies such as Teva Pharmaceuticals and Actavis.
In the 21st century, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia and it has remained a medical mystery. Around 5.2M Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. It is people above the age of 65 year who generally suffer from this disease and the projection is that by 2050, Alzheimer’s will affect 1 in 85 people across the world. This figure is a very shocking one considering the fact that to date; scientists have not been able to unravel the mystery behind this disease and its causes. At present, the Alzheimer’s treatment market generates almost $20b in revenue on an annual basis.