Pfizer Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., facing cheaper generic competition to their bestselling drugs within four years, will team to develop medicines for diabetes and obesity.
The collaboration focuses on a family of compounds known as DGAT-1 inhibitors, which block creation and storage of fat, the New York-based companies said Monday.
Bristol will pay Pfizer $50 million to handle research until the last stage of testing, then Pfizer will pay 60% of costs and get 60% of profit from the venture.
Pfizer's cholesterol pill Lipitor, with $12.9 billion in 2006 revenue, and Bristol-Myers' blood thinner Plavix, which generated $6.3 billion, face generic competition in 2010 and 2011. Although the partnership won't result in a marketed product within that time period, it may help the companies lower research costs in a key drug development area.