More from JPM16: Glaxo talks potential spinoff, 'Pfallergan' addresses future breakup scenario
- Pfizer chief Ian Read on Tuesday assured investors at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference that there wouldn't be a culture clash with Allergan as the two firms pursue the largest healthcare merger in history. He also reasserted that the combined firm would consider a breakup down the road if it made sense from a capital and structure standpoint.
- Read also said that his firm wouldn't lag behind rivals on a second wave of cancer immunotherapy development.
- Another pharma giant, GlaxoSmithKline, also said that it may consider investor calls to break up the firm after the full integration of Novartis' vaccines and consumer health units.
Read mostly stayed away from discussing the "I" word ("inversion"), instead focusing on assuring investors that a post-merger transition would go smoothly and that R&D would be a priority, particularly in the oncology space.
Pfizer has lagged behind major rivals such as Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb in developing next-gen cancer immunotherapies like Keytruda and Opdivo. But Read said on Tuesday that the firm would be more aggressive this time around, aiming to create more therapies that can be combined with its current in-development immuno-oncologics.
Separately, Glaxo CEO Andrew Witty discussed the possibility of spinning off certain segments of the business after fully absorbing its massive units-swap with Novartis.
"By bringing these businesses all to real global scale, it for the first time creates the optionality for potentially different structures down the road," Witty told Bloomberg in an interview. "We certainly have a year or two more of work to finish."
Notable investors such as UK's Neil Woodford have called for breaking up Glaxo, whose structure has been described as complex and convoluted.