Pfizer aiming to be leader in cancer as it tests combos of its drugs, ones from partnerships

MarketsAssociated Press

Drug giant Pfizer is starting 20 clinical trials this year and more soon after on cancer treatments, aiming to be a leader in the hot, lucrative field.

A decade ago, Pfizer wasn't even a player in cancer research. Today, Pfizer has eight approved cancer medicines. It's running late-stage patient tests on five of those drugs for additional uses, has three other drugs in late-stage testing and has 14 other cancer drug development programs in early stages.

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Pfizer executives say their technology, in-house expertise and partnerships with university researchers and other drugmakers position the company uniquely to create the best drug combinations and become a leader in cancer medicine.

Its programs include drugs designed to kill tumor cells and other treatments that stimulate the immune system to mount a stronger defense.