Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is unlikely to conduct further acquisitions of large companies, instead focusing its assets on bolt-on purchases and research alliances, according to Pfizer CEO Ian Read.

The change in focus comes as the company aims to restructure its finances and research effort, particularly noting the patent expiry of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor. "I’m very disinclined to be looking at the possibility of another mega-acquisition," said Read, adding: "We’re only going to do bolt-on acquisitions or licensing deals that make sense financially."

Pfizer’s last major acquisition was the $68bn purchase of drug manufacturer Wyeth, which was finalised in 2010, and Read says that this particular purchase provided Pfizer with the technology, expertise and geographical influence it needs.

Since taking the job in December 2010, Read has slashed Pfizer’s budget to what he deems to be an appropriate level, refocusing it towards internal research and forging more research partnerships with academic researchers and institutions. Read also highlighted five key drugs that he expects will drive Pfizer’s growth in the near term, including pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 and lung cancer medication Xalkori – the first new treatment for deadly lung cancer approved in more than six years.

Read’s comments came as he spoke at the 30th annual JP Morgan Global Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, US.

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