Pfizer will give scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis unprecedented access to information on 500 pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical candidates in a partnership that focuses on discovering new uses for existing compound.
Under the five-year agreement, Pfizer will provide $22.5 million to Washington University and give its scientists access to research data on pharmaceutical candidates that are currently or were formerly in clinical testing.
“There are two realities in drug discovery,” said Don Frail, chief scientific officer of Pfizer's Indications Discovery Unit. “The majority of candidates tested in development do not give the desired result, yet those drugs that do succeed typically have multiple uses. By harnessing the scientific expertise at this leading academic medical center, the collaboration seeks to discover entirely new uses for these compounds in areas of high patient need that might otherwise be left undiscovered.”
The partnership is a new approach in academia-industry collaborations that has the potential to develop drug compounds more efficiently. Researchers won’t have to replicate extensive preclinical studies, shaving years off the time it takes to evaluate new uses for existing drugs. The agreement builds on the long history of collaboration between the two organizations and brings together scientists from Pfizer and Washington University to jointly propose, design and carry out research.
The university has scientific expertise in disease areas such as Alzheimer's, cancer, diabetes and related metabolic disorders, and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. “We are pleased to see our long-standing relationship with Pfizer evolve into this innovative model of partnership,” said Larry Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor and dean of Washington University School of Medicine.