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PFE – Here’s Why Pfizer Trading Stopped Friday

AstraZeneca talks bumped off center stage for a few moments


Shares of Pfizer (PFE) halted trading on the New York Stock Exchange at around 12:04 p.m. ET pending news. Shares resumed trading at around 12:18 once the news was out.

According to Bloomberg, the drug behemoth expects to submit a new drug application for palbociclib with the FDA early in Q3 of this year — so that was the announcement.

Palbociclib is the compound name for a breast cancer drug in Pfizer’s pipeline that has been in phase 3 trials.

News of Pfizer’s trading halt had a lot of folks atwitter, speculating that there was an announcement coming regarding the company’s proposed takeover of AstraZeneca (AZN).

The deal has attracted immense amounts of criticism in the U.S. because of tax inversion matters and in the U.K. because of the potential loss of jobs at U.K.-based AstraZeneca.

“Astra Zeneca would dramatically boost Pfizer’s presence in primary care (incl. respiratory and diabetes), oncology (in particular immuno-oncology candidates), and Emerging Markets, among other areas. It would also offer significant cost rationalization opportunities — Pfizer mgmt has a track record of delivering above-forecast merger cost savings,” said Morgan Stanley’s David Risinger last month. “However, size works against R&D productivity because large entities often stifle innovation.”

Anyone waiting for new developments regarding the deal will just have to wait a bit longer.

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