Pfizer tanks 8% after halting breast-cancer treatment trial on lowered hopes for success

Brendan McDermid/ReutersA logo for Pfizer is displayed on a monitor on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 29, 2019.
  • Pfizer stock plummeted as much as 8.2% on Monday after the company halted a phase 3 breast-cancer treatment trial.
  • The pharmaceutical giant’s palbociclib treatment was “unlikely to show a statistically significant improvement” in survival rates, according to a statement made after Friday’s market close.
  • Monday’s decline was the largest drag on the 30-stock Dow Jones industrial average.
  • Watch Pfizer trade live here.

Pfizer shares slumped as much as 8.2% on Monday after the company paused trials for a breast-cancer treatment with diminishing odds of success.

The company announced after Friday’s close that a phase 3 study of palbociclib was “unlikely to show a statistically significant improvement” in survival rates. The drug was entered in trials across 400 centres in 21 countries, according to Pfizer.

“This result is not what we hoped for, but we are steadfast in our commitment to advancing the science and care for people living with breast cancer,” CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.


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Pfizer shares plunged as much as 7% in aftermarket trading on Friday. The company is the Dow Jones industrial average’s biggest loser in Monday trading.

Palbociclib used the company’s bestselling drug Ibrance alongside endocrine therapy to treat early-stage breast cancer. Ibrance fuelled much of Pfizer’s first-quarter revenue gains and was expected to serve as a breakout product for the company.

The pharmaceutical giant traded at $US35.11 per share as of 10:50 a.m. ET Monday, down 10% year-to-date.


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