Cross-Sector Collaboration Aims to Provide Academic Researchers with New Investments and Access to Pfizer’s Scientific Expertise and Resource Centers
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) announced today a collaboration designed to advance the development of new small-molecule drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. As part of the first-of-its kind collaboration in Alzheimer’s, the ADDF and CTI will jointly invest in translational research projects, with a focus on novel Alzheimer’s drug targets.
The cross-sector alliance is designed to enable project teams, comprised of Pfizer scientists and select academic researchers, to translate novel scientific research into effective therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. The collaboration will allow investigators in Pfizer CTI’s academic network to apply for joint funding from CTI and the ADDF, with funded projects gaining access to Pfizer CTI’s unrivaled drug discovery resources and the ADDF’s expertise in Alzheimer’s disease research. The first deadline for pre-proposal submissions is February 13, 2015.
“By leveraging our combined resources and proficiency, we believe we can speed up the discovery and development of new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and potentially benefit tens of millions of people,” says Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF. “Our funded researchers will benefit from an unprecedented level of drug discovery guidance as well as access to Pfizer’s development expertise.”
The collaboration, which grew out of a 2011 meeting at Faster Cures “Partnering for Cures” conference, is representative of the increasing role of cross-sector collaboration in the drug discovery process.
“Approximately five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease today, and the prevalence of this disease continues to grow with devastating impact for patients and their loved ones,” said Anthony J. Coyle, PhD, Senior Vice President at Pfizer and CTI’s Chief Scientific Officer. “There is an urgent need to explore new avenues for treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. Speeding drug discovery is the goal of every CTI collaboration, and the ADDF is uniquely positioned to be a strong partner in our efforts to translate research into therapies for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”
The ADDF is the latest foundation to join Pfizer CTI’s network of partners and the only foundation partner working on a disease of the central nervous system.
About Pfizer’s Center for Therapeutic Innovation
Launched in 2010, Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) is a unique model for academic-foundation-industry collaboration, designed to bridge the gap between early scientific discovery and its translation into new medicines. A key aspect of CTI is its local Centers in biomedical research hubs that enable Pfizer and academic teams to work side-by-side, blending the research expertise of academics in disease biology, targets and patient populations with Pfizer’s development expertise and resources. The ultimate goal of each collaborative research project is to identify a drug candidate that can be moved into further clinical testing. CTI now has 25 academic institutions and five foundation partners in its network, as well as the National Institutes of Health, with a portfolio of projects across a variety of disease areas.