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Pfizer launches competitive grants program for cardiovascular disease research

Friday, April 10, 2015

Pfizer has launched a new competitive grants program to support research projects investigating the role of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in health and cardiovascular disease. This competitive grants program, which is an extension of the Advancing Science through Pfizer Investigator Research Exchange (ASPIRE) Cardiovascular program, is part of Pfizer’s ongoing commitment to translate scientific discoveries into innovative medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Pfizer currently is studying bococizumab, an investigational PCSK9 inhibitor, in a phase III clinical trial program, known as SPIRE (Studies of PCSK9 Inhibition and the Reduction of vascular Events), for its potential to lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and improve cardiovascular outcomes.

Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, remains a global, public health issue despite many advances in treatment. The first annual ASPIRE Cardiovascular competitive grants program will fund multiple grants of up to $100,000 each to support research designed to uncover new insights about the role of the PCSK9 protein/gene in health and disease.

“One of the most exciting new areas for scientific exploration in cardiovascular disease is focused on PCSK9,” said professor John Chapman, director emeritus of the Dyslipidemia and Atherosclerosis Research Unit of the NIH and Medical Research (INSERM) at the Pitié-Salpétrière University Hospital in Paris, France. “It is our earnest desire that the research projects selected will advance the current understanding of PCSK9 biology and in this way, contribute significantly to the next generation of potential therapies targeted to cardiovascular diseases.”

Grantees will be selected through a competitive application process overseen by an independent review committee of experts. The committee will be chaired by Chapman.

The Review Committee encourages investigators (with a special interest for emerging researchers at assistant professor level or equivalent) to submit applications for innovative research in several areas. Highlights of the research of interest include:

  • Pathophysiology of non-diabetic or diabetic dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic vascular disease
  • Lipoprotein particles, cellular lipoprotein receptors and lipid homeostasis
  • Role of PCSK9 in lipoprotein (a) metabolism
  • Vascular biology
  • Pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases other than atherosclerosis
  • Non-lipid/lipoprotein effects of PCSK9
  • PCSK9 and the immune system
  • PCSK9 and infectious disease
  • Identifying the unmet needs and/or residual risk in high risk secondary/primary prevention patients that may be addressed by PCSK9 inhibitors

Eligible research projects for this program include: basic/preclinical/clinical science and outcomes/epidemiological research to understand unmet needs and/or residual risk in high risk secondary/primary prevention patients that may be addressed by PCSK9 inhibitors.

The application submission period ends May 28.

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