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Pfizer Begins Production of New Cholesterol Drug

The combined Lipitor-torcetrapib drug is expected to provide more protection from heart attacks and stroke.Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) announced Wednesday that it has begun the production of a new drug combining experimental compound torcetrapib, which raises levels of so-called “good” cholesterol, with Lipitor, which lowers levels of so-called bad cholesterol.

The company, based in New York City, said the mixture should provide even more protection from heart attacks and stroke than Lipitor alone. Pfizer booked Lipitor sales of $7.7 billion in 2004, making it the world”s best-selling prescription drug.

The company is spending about $800 million on late-stage clinical trials involving 25,000 patients to test the combination of torcetrapib and Lipitor.
“Having the operation up and running before our regulatory filings should facilitate the review process,” stated Nat Ricciardi, Pfizer global manufacturing president.
At the close of trading Pfizer shares were up $0.14 to $28.75.

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