Pfizer Inc. today announced the establishment of the Global
Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, an entrepreneurial network of partnerships
with leading academic medical centers to transform research and development by accessing
leading translational researchers. The University
is the first collaboration in the network.
“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,” said Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., president of
Pfizer Worldwide Research & Development. “This new way of engaging
leading external scientists is a key component of our R&D strategy. We are
excited to pioneer this approach to seek to translate science into novel proofs
of mechanism in a more efficient and accelerated manner to better serve
patients,” Dr. Dolsten said.
Anthony Coyle, Ph.D., will head Pfizer’s Global Centers for Therapeutic
Innovation, headquartered in Cambridge,
Mass. Dr. Coyle brings extensive
knowledge of the full drug development process to this initiative. As former
Vice President and Global Head of Respiratory, Inflammation, and Autoimmune
Research at MedImmune Biologics, a division of AstraZeneca, he advanced
research and the clinical biologics pipeline.
“With his keen sense of biotechnology culture, strong
scientific leadership and history of building successful collaborations,
Anthony Coyle is the ideal person to lead the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation,”
said Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Ph.D., Pfizer’s senior vice president of
Worldwide BioTherapeutics Research and Development.
“This new model complements the venture capitalist –
funded biotech start up and has the potential to catalyze the transformation of
global biomedical drug discovery by advancing scientific breakthroughs in
translational medicine.” 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 proprietary antibody libraries and advanced
research tools along with technical support across the development process. In
addition to funding pre-clinical and clinical development programs, Pfizer will
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.
The Centers for Therapeutic Innovation will initially focus
on collaborations within the U.S.
and build the network at other U.S.-based medical institutions and is expected
to expand into Europe and Asia in 2012. Each
Center will be governed by a Joint Steering Committee comprised of Pfizer and
academic medical center representatives who will provide leadership and
evaluate the success of each program through discovery and early stage clinical
“This is an excellent example of how we can
fundamentally improve the process of translating research into better drugs by
bringing all of the people involved to the same table,” said Jeffrey A.
Bluestone, Ph.D., UCSF executive vice chancellor and provost, and the A.W. and Mary
Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor in Metabolism and Endocrinology at
UCSF. “This partnership takes advantage of the expertise in both camps to
create new ways to develop drugs that have the potential to achieve their most
important goal – improving patient health.” “UCSF is a world-class
academic medical center with a strong focus on both basic science and clinical
research, which is why Pfizer is partnering with them on this initiative.
Ultimately, we believe this could create significant benefit for the patient,
for investigators, and for each institution,” said Dr. Gutierrez-Ramos.