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Nov 16, 2010

Pfizer Taps Academia with Launch of Global Centers for Therapeutic Innovation

  • Pfizer has established the Global Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, a network of partnerships with academic medical centers for drug R&D. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is the first to become part of the collaboration.

    Anthony Coyle, Ph.D., will head the Global Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, which will be headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Coyle was formerly the vp and global head of respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmune research at MedImmune Biologics.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that under the terms with UCSF, Pfizer will pay up to $85 million over the next five years to assess whether UCSF discoveries can be turned into new biologic medicines.

    In addition to funding preclinical and clinical development programs, Pfizer will reportedly offer its partners equitable intellectual property and ownership rights to support continued experimentation and exploration as well as broad rights to publication. Milestone payments and royalties related to the advancement of sponsored programs will also be granted. In return, Pfizer will have the opportunity to potentially broaden its pipeline with novel and highly differentiated candidate drugs to treat diseases of high unmet medical need. 

    A key aspect of the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation is Pfizer's commitment to establish local Centers at each partner site that enable Pfizer and academic medical center teams to work side by side. Pfizer will also make available its antibody libraries and research tools along with technical support across the development process.

    “The Centers for Therapeutic Innovation represents a truly novel open innovation paradigm, combining the unique advantages of top academic research institutions with Pfizer's leading drug development capabilities and research technologies,” says Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., president of Pfizer worldwide R&D. “This new way of engaging leading external scientists is a key component of our R&D strategy.”

    The Centers for Therapeutic Innovation will initially focus on collaborations within the U.S. and is expected to expand into Europe and Asia in 2012. Each Center will be governed by a Joint Steering Committee composed of Pfizer and academic medical center representatives who will provide leadership and evaluate the success of each program through discovery and early-stage clinical development.


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