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Analyst Blog

Pfizer Inc. (PFE - Analyst Report) recently announced that it has launched its attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment, Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride) in the US.

Being the first once-daily liquid methylphenidate to be approved in the US for ADHD, Quillivant XR provides ADHD patients with an alternative treatment option. The ADHD market currently has players like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report) and Shire (SHPG - Analyst Report) among others.

Quillivant XR, which was approved by the FDA in Sep 2012 for use in patients 6 years and above, became a part of Pfizer’s portfolio following the company’s Nov 2012 acquisition of privately held, specialty pharma company NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Pfizer decided to acquire NextWave under an option and merger agreement with the company. At the time of announcing its intention to acquire NextWave, Pfizer had said that it would make a payment of $255 million to NextWave’s shareholders on the closing of the transaction. Moreover, NextWave’s shareholders could receive additional payments of up to $425 million on the achievement of certain sales milestones.

This acquisition is in line with Pfizer’s goal of expanding its Established Products US brands business. Pfizer has been looking to offset the impact of generic competition by bringing new products to market. The company has been focusing on the development of treatments in the fields of oncology, cardiology, metabolic disorders, neuroscience, immunology, inflammation and vaccines.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Pfizer, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect near-term earnings at Pfizer to be driven by cost cutting efforts and share repurchases. Longer-term growth will be dependent on the success of drug development.

While Shire is also a Zacks Rank #3 stock (Hold), Johnson & Johnson is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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