An 11-month-old partnership between UCSF and Pfizer, Inc., aimed at rapidly moving new therapies into human clinical trials, has selected its first projects for funding and joint development. Teams from the University and Pfizer will work together on experimental therapies developed by the UCSF scientists with a goal of testing them in people with five hard-to-treat, often deadly conditions, including lung and prostate cancer.
Three to five additional projects from university researchers will be selected after a second round of proposals, due Nov. 4, are evaluated.
As part of the unique collaboration, Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, will not only provide funding for the selected researchers, but has set up its own laboratory space next to UCSF's Mission Bay campus. Scientists at the Pfizer lab, the Center for Therapeutic Innovation, will work directly with each of the UCSF teams.
"At UCSF, we are absolutely focused on finding new ways to turn the groundbreaking research of our scientists into therapies that benefit patients and the public,'' said Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, UCSF's executive vice chancellor and provost. "Our work with Pfizer epitomizes our approach to building innovative, collaborative partnerships with industry."
The Pfizer and UCSF researchers can visit each other's labs, conduct experiments together and participate in joint team meetings, said Stephanie Robertson, PhD, who oversees the collaboration for the UCSF Office of Innovation, Technologies & Alliances with colleague Tuhin Sinha, PhD, alliance manager of the ITA.
"The proximity is key," Robertson said. "People can literally walk across the street. That was a big reason for Pfizer locating right here.''
As the cost of developing new drugs has skyrocketed -- reaching $1.8 billion per approved drug, according to some recent research -- drug companies have been searching for ways to lower the cost. Since they often spend years or
|Contact: Jennifer O'Brien|
University of California - San Francisco