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Pfizer Inc (New York) agreed to buy closely held FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (Cambridge MA) as it looks to expand into medicines for rare disorders.

Pfizer Inc (New York) agreed to buy closely held FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Inc (Cambridge MA) as it looks to expand into medicines for rare disorders. FoldRx is focused on developing treatments for conditions caused by the improper folding of proteins, Pfizer said. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The deal fits with Pfizer's strategy of focusing on medicines for niche diseases, Geno Germano, head of Pfizer's specialty care unit, said. Pfizer set up a research division in June focused on developing medicines for orphan diseases, classified as conditions affecting less than 200,000 people. More than 30 million Americans have one of 6,000 orphan diseases, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. "Within our research organization we established a specific research unit focused on rare disorders and this fits nicely into that area of focus," Germano said. "Rare diseases are an aspect of our portfolio that we think is very attractive, and we are eager to see and continue development."

Pfizer contacted FoldRx eight weeks ago after one of its researchers saw a scientific poster presented by the company, Richard Labaudiniere, FoldRx's chief executive officer, said. He said the company was founded in 2004 from a technology project developed at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. FoldRx's most advanced drug, tafamidis meglumine, is in the final stages of testing required to obtain regulatory approval in the U.S. to treat transthyretin amyloid polyneuropathy, a fatal disorder of the nervous system that affects about 8,000 people worldwide, Labaudiniere said. The company has filed for approval of the treatment in Europe. FoldRx is also working on drugs in earlier stages of testing for Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, cystic fibrosis, and a rare heart condition called transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy.
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Title Annotation:RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY
Publication:MondayMorning
Date:Sep 13, 2010
Words:291
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