Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) will partner with NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to conduct collaborative research programs intended to translate basic research into clinical applications. The value of the agreement was not disclosed.

NIH has become the first U.S. government agency to enter into a collaborative agreement to conduct research through CTI, an R&D network of 25 academic institutions and four patient foundations created to translate basic research into clinical candidates.

The partnership isn’t the first between Pfizer and NCATS. Pfizer in 2012 was among the first big pharma partners in NCATS’ Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules program. The companies made dozens of compounds available to academic researchers for potential repurposing for new therapeutic uses. Last year two Pfizer compounds were among the seven for which nine academic research groups were awarded a total $12.7 million by NCATS toward repurposing efforts.

In the new partnership, CTI and NCATS are expected to enter into several research collaborations designed to combine NIH intramural investigators’ biological knowledge with Pfizer’s preclinical and clinical development expertise, the company said yesterday.

According to Pfizer, all NIH intramural researchers will have the opportunity to apply for CTI partnership opportunities during the current federal fiscal year, which began October 1. The researchers that are selected will be given access to Pfizer’s proprietary preclinical drug discovery tools and technologies, as well as pre-clinical study and regulatory expertise.

Selected researchers may be provided with support to generate data for Investigational NDAs to the FDA—enabling potential treatments developed through the collaboration to advance to human clinical trials.

A joint Pfizer-NIH steering committee will govern the partnership and make decisions about each research program, Pfizer added.

“The collaboration with CTI will expand NCATS’ capabilities to serve as a catalyst for the transformation of translational research and thus potentially bring more treatments to more patients more efficiently,” NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D., said in a statement.

Launched in 2010 with the University of California, San Francisco as its first partner, CTI works to team up Pfizer scientists with academic investigators at four research locations—Boston, New York, San Diego, and San Francisco.

According to CTI’s website, Pfizer allows the academic researcher partners to tap into the company’s compound libraries, proprietary screening methods, antibody development technologies, and other resources and support from company professionals with expertise in drug development and protein sciences.








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