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Nov 9, 2010

Pfizer Taps Biovista for Drug Repositioning Capabilities

  • Biovista entered into a pilot research agreement with Pfizer. The aim is to identify new indications for a number of undisclosed drug candidates from Pfizer using Biovista’s Clinical Outcome Search Space (COSS) technology.

    Biovista will collaborate with Pfizer’s indications discovery unit to identify up to three novel indications for each of the Pfizer candidates. The terms of the agreement include an up-front payment and success-based milestones.

    Biovista is focused on drug repositioning, and drugs that are screened must meet two criteria: They should display significant biological plausibility as potential therapies for the new indications, and there should be no prior art in the patent or scientific literature linking them to the new indications. The firm screens for at least equivalent efficacy with current standards of treatment and with equal or lower risk profiles.

    Biovista’s pipeline includes: eight drugs for eye disorders like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy; four RNAi drugs for diabetes and obesity; 12 candidates to treat CNS diseases; and six drugs for pancreatic cancer.

    Additionally, Biovista has initiated preliminary profiling and screening of drugs for autoimmune and infectious diseases, specifically HIV. The firm says that it is systematically repositioning all drugs that are losing exclusivity and coming off patent. The Orange Book lists at least 100 such drugs, and Biovista is currently processing 28 of them.

    Besides working with biopharmaceutical companies to find new indications for established drugs, the company also provides services like meta review and gap analysis, disease cohort identification, and adverse event analysis. Biovista is also collaborating with the FDA on the prediction of adverse events.


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