Pfizer discontinues inhalable insulin after disapponting sales results

NEW YORK Pfizer has decided to stop producing its innovative insulin drug Exubera, after releasing third-quarter results that showed the drug was a market flop.

The company’s manufacturing site in Indiana has been shut down and 600 of the 750 workers at the site are now on paid leave until a decision is made on the future of the facility, which has already had over $300 million invested in it.

For the last couple of months, Pfizer has been hinting at their intentions to stop making the drug. The second-quarter results showed only $4 million in sales, and one of the device’s contract manufacturers had already announced it would cut 160 jobs as a result of the slow uptake of the drug.

With Pfizer pulling out of the non-injectable insulin market, Eli Lilly now has a chance to dominate the market with its new drug AIR Insulin, which is now in Phase III trials and is expected to be filed to the Food and Drug Administration for approval in 2009.