Pfizer Stops All Torcetrapib Clinical Trials

Armen Hareyan's picture

Pfizer Inc said that in the interests of patient safety it is stopping all torcetrapib clinical trials and that it has informed the Food and Drug Administration. The Company is in the process of notifying all clinical investigators in the program as well as other regulatory authorities.

The Company was informed today that the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) monitoring the ILLUMINATE morbidity and mortality study for torcetrapib recommended terminating the study because of an imbalance of mortality and cardiovascular events.

The Company has terminated ILLUMINATE and is in the process of asking all clinical investigators conducting trials in this development program to inform patient participants to stop taking the study medication immediately. The Company has also ended the development program for this compound.


Dr. Philip Barter, Director of the Heart Research Institute in Australia and Chairman of the Steering Committee overseeing the ILLUMINATE study, said, "Based on all the evidence we have seen regarding torcetrapib and in light of prior study results, we were very surprised by the information received from the DSMB, the only body with access to the unblinded safety data. We believed that the study was coming along as expected, and this new information was totally unexpected and disappointing, given the potential benefits of this drug."

Pfizer's Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey B. Kindler said, "While the DSMB information we received today was both surprising and disappointing, our focus is on the best interests of patients and making sure all this information is communicated to appropriate medical and regulatory authorities as quickly as possible.

"With regard to our business, we understand the challenge that this represents and we will respond quickly and aggressively to it. It is important to put this information in the context of both our commitment to transform Pfizer and our overall product and financial strength," Mr. Kindler added.

He emphasized three key points:

  • First, Pfizer has a broad and diverse in-line and new product portfolio, as well as substantial operating and financial strength. Our financial guidance for 2006 is unchanged.