* Deal aimed at better matching patients with treatments
* To identify subgroups of patients likely to benefit
Oct 26, Pfizer Inc , the world's largest
drugmaker, and pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions
Inc said on Wednesday they had set up a research
collaboration aimed at better identifying the patients most
likely to be helped by a new medicine.
With better understanding of the human genome and genetic
profiles, the companies believe new drugs can be targeting to
particular subgroups of patients genetically predisposed to
benefit from the treatments.
For example, Pfizer's new lung cancer drug, crizotinib,
only works on a small percentage of patients with a specific
genetic mutation. It was developed along with a companion
diagnostic to identify those patients.
In the past, such a drug might have been written off as a
failure because the majority of lung cancer patients would have
received no benefit from the medicine.
Under the agreement, Pfizer and Medco will collaborate to
identify and evaluate patient subgroups in which experimental
and currently marketed drugs are shown to be most effective,
the companies said.
Medco, which is in the process of being acquired by rival
Express Scripts Inc , has conducted several studies in
recent years aimed at advancing the field of so-called
"In the end, the goal is treating the right patients with
the right medicines to improve their health," Freda Lewis-Hall,
Pfizer's chief medical officer, said in a statement.