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Our Therapy Areas

We focus our efforts in six core areas where we are best positioned to develop medicines for much needed therapies.



Anti-infectives are medicines such as antibiotics, antifungals, and antivirals that work to treat or prevent infections.

Since the 1940’s when Pfizer first mass-produced penicillin, we’ve been actively involved in the discovery and development of medicines to treat infections as well as vaccines that prevent them.1

We have over 80 anti-infective medicines and vaccines and continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our R&D pipeline to ensure we address the evolving medical needs of patients and healthcare workers.1 This includes helping to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), where micro-organisms which cause infection (e.g. bacteria) survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill them or stop their growth.


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Inflammation and Immunology

Inflammation is a biological response to potential danger or damage to organs in our body. But with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and many others, our own immune system becomes dysregulated and turns against our organs.2

These conditions may be painful and debilitating and can take an immense toll on people’s quality of life and many of these diseases are poorly managed by existing treatments that provide only symptomatic relief.

Our scientists are focused on three specific areas of unmet need; rheumatology, gastroenterology and medical dermatology. Our innovation in the short term is to enable patients to thrive in remission through new immunosuppressives and in the future improve our understanding of how to promote the restoration of the immune system and tissue health.


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Internal Medicine

Within internal medicine, our scientists are focused on discovering and developing therapies for metabolic disease, cardiovascular risk, diabetes, cachexia, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), chronic pain and fatty liver disease.

In recent decades there have been remarkable reductions in death from cardiovascular diseases, largely due to a decreased prevalence of smoking and modern science that has led to effective therapies for hypertension and high cholesterol.3 Even so, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the number one cause of death worldwide.4

We believe that a comprehensive programme is needed to address the collection of diseases of the cardiovascular system, as well as their root causes, including obesity and metabolic disease.

For more than 50 years, Pfizer has led the way in redefining the management of cardiovascular risk by bringing much-needed treatments to patients.

Today, Pfizer is focused on investigating potential therapies that treat both the metabolic abnormalities that increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and the heart itself. This includes more targeted potential therapies, as well as possible therapies that are a combination of two or more drugs, which could bring additional benefits to patients.

Our early discovery efforts focus on emerging areas of CV research such as control of eating disorders, type 2 diabetes/muscle uptake of glucose and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

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Cancer remains one of our greatest and growing healthcare challenges.5 Globally, it is estimated that 17 million new cancer cases occurred in 2018, with 9.6 million deaths and by 2040, the global burden is expected to grow to 27.5 million new cancer cases as a result of a growing and ageing population.6

But cancer isn’t a single disease. There are now more than 100 types of cancer and its biology is constantly changing, making it one of the most complex diseases to treat.7

Pfizer is developing treatments that are as diverse as the disease itself. Whilst traditional cancer-fighting tools like chemotherapy and radiation remain important treatment options for patients and doctors, our scientists are working to uncover new approaches to attack cancer cells directly and more effectively. With a focus on the most disruptive advances in science and guided by the urgency to help patients receive the next wave of life-changing cancer medicines, we hope to develop ever more targeted and sophisticated treatments that have the real potential to transform patients’ lives.


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Rare Disease

There are an estimated 7,000 rare diseases in the world today and counting.8 While these diseases may be individually rare they are collectively common, affecting approximately 3.5 million people in the UK alone.9 So if you don’t already know someone affected directly, you probably don’t need to speak to too many people before you will.

Over the past decade scientific advances have increased our understanding of rare diseases and their underlying causes, enabling the development of treatment options. But today, only 5% of rare diseases have an available treatment, this gap in care has spurred a sense of urgency within Pfizer Rare Disease - to find new, potentially life-changing approaches.8

After rigorous review of unmet patient need, the science, and viability of the rare disease space we’re focused on the following areas; Haematology, Neurology, Amyloidosis, Pulmonology, Endocrinology and Nephrology.  A key focus is advancing our gene therapy capabilities, with 4 out of 5 rare diseases have identified genetic origins.8 We believe gene therapy has the potential to provide meaningful improvements in the lives of millions of people living with rare diseases, and we pride ourselves on being a leader in this space. We're investigating highly specialized, potentially one-time gene therapy treatments, using custom-made adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver treatments to targeted cells.

With rare diseases, patients are the true experts and we listen to, learn from, and work in close collaboration with patients at every stage - from R&D to treatment delivery. Every strategy, every decision is made with the patient in mind.


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Vaccines are one of the greatest public health advancements of all time, resulting in the control, elimination, or near-elimination of numerous infectious diseases that were once pervasive and often fatal whilst also providing broader societal and economic benefits.10

Pfizer has a rich history in vaccine research and development. Over the years, we’ve played a pivotal role in eliminating or nearly eliminating deadly infectious diseases like smallpox and polio globally. We have designed novel vaccines based on new delivery systems and technologies that have resulted in vaccines to prevent bacterial infections, like those caused by S. pneumoniae and N. meningitis.

However, our work is not done given the many infectious diseases remaining with a high unmet medical need. It's an exciting time for vaccine research and development as scientific discoveries, technological advancements and regulatory processes are paving the way for novel vaccines.

We are focusing our vaccines research and development across three areas; addressing high impact infectious diseases, expanding the benefits of maternal immunization and investigating cancer vaccines.


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PP-PFE-GBR-3742 / July 2021