Samsung Medical Center and Pfizer have formed a research partnership to jointly analyze tumors from Korean patients to generate gene expression profiles and that may ultimately direct therapies and enhance clinical outcomes in the patients with liver cancer.
The two organizations held a signing ceremony at the main conference hall located on the fifth floor of Samsung Medical Center in Seoul on June 14 to commemorate the initiation of the collaboration. A research team led by top scientists at Samsung Medical Center, including Prof. Park Cheol-Guen, Prof. Im Ho-Young and Prof. Paik Soon-Myung, Director of the Cancer Research Center, will conduct research in Seoul, while Dr. Neil Gibson, Vice President of Oncology Research, will be responsible for the joint research program at Pfizer.
Pfizer expanded into the market for targeted anticancer agents with the launch of Sutent, an anticancer agent used to treat an advanced form of kidney cancer. Since then, the company has been consistently investing in research and development of innovative drug candidates and potential treatments for patients with liver cancer, a type of cancer especially prevalent in Asia, to address the growing need for an anticancer drug treating liver cancer in the Asian market in the future. Seeing the world-class clinical environment and outstanding research capabilities in Korea, the global pharmaceutical company formed a research partnership with Samsung Medical Center as part of its commitment.
Samsung Medical Center has been laying the solid foundation for development of new anticancer drugs, providing top-quality medical service through organic collaboration with other organizations; building an extensive base of specimens in the liver cancer area; and accumulating the know-how for diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer.
Samsung Medical Center was named to join the “Group of Leading Research-based Hospitals,” a large-scale national project led by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2009, to work with leading local and global pharmaceutical companies for an open research project designed to develop novel bio drugs that will help the country to cure intractable diseases.
“We are pleased to have an opportunity to work with the world’s No. 1 pharmaceutical company Pfizer to better understand cancer in Korean patients, with the goal of being able to send a new message of hope for patients with liver cancer across the world (especially in Asia),” said Choi Han-Yong, president of Samsung Medical Center.
“This partnership will serve as a great opportunity to combine Pfizer’s know-how in drug development and Samsung Medical Center’s extensive genome information and technology in the liver cancer area,” said Neil Gibson, vice president of Oncology Research Unit in Pfizer Inc. “We further plan to share the ownership of collected and analyzed data with Samsung Medical Center, contributing to advance of a variety of oncology research in Korea.” Pfizer signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2007, agreeing to invest 300 million dollars in R&D in Korea. As part of its commitment, the company also formed a strategic partnership with the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology and has been leading joint research since then.