Sanford-Burnham, Pfizer announce partnership

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) has announced a new collaboration this week.

Kelsey Kaustinen
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LA JOLLA, Calif.—Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute(Sanford-Burnham) has announced a new collaboration this week. The institutewill be pairing up with Pfizer, Inc., one of the latest partnerships inPfizer's ongoing initiative to transform research and development through a focus ontranslational medicine. Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) is aresearch unit focused on open innovation based on the establishment of globalpartnerships with academic research institutions, in hopes of bridging the gapbetween discovery science and clinical applications. Sanford-Burnham has afocus on the molecular causes of disease as well as discovery of innovativetherapies, and ranks among the top independent research institutions nationallyfor National Institutes of Health grant funding.
"Pfizer is truly excited to work in this new partnershipwith leading experts from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute tounderstand more about the mechanisms that drive diseases with high unmetmedical need," Anthony Coyle, Ph.D., vice president and head of Pfizer's GlobalCenters for Therapeutic Innovation, said in a press release.
In this collaboration, the CTI will provide funding toprincipal investigators for postdoctoral support (for trainees within alaboratory who recently completed their doctoral studies). The CTI will alsoprovide technical support, including dedicated personnel, as well as access toinfrastructure that will encompass laboratory space, chemical libraries,robots, and the like. Though Pfizer called the program highly incentivized, nofinancial details were disclosed.
"Pfizer's CTI program represents a new model for early stagedrug development," Paul Laikind, Sanford-Burnham's Chief Business Officer, saidin a press release regarding the partnership. Laikind is a veteran entrepreneurand has founded three start-up companies that are now publically traded."Aggressively working to close the gap between discovery research and clinicalapplication benefits research, benefits patients, and ultimately adds to theinnovation economy."
Sanford-Burnham has developed a sophisticated infrastructurefor drug discovery over the past few years thanks to strategic partnerships andgrant funding. This latest partnership with the CTI will give Sanford-Burnham'sinvestigators with increased access to resources, including Pfizer's compoundlibraries, proprietary screening methods and antibody development technologiesas well.
"The 'open innovation' model of the CTI is a perfect fit forSanford-Burnham," John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham CEO, said in a pressrelease. Reed is a professor and the Donald Bren Chief Executive Chair. "TheInstitute's culture of collaboration is enhanced by the opportunity to workside by side with Pfizer researchers. Partnering with Pfizer accelerates our abilityto translate our research more quickly into the development ofbiopharmaceutical products."
The CTI have been established by Pfizer in San Francisco,Boston, New York and San Diego, where the University of California, San Diegoannounced their participation in Pfizer's CTI initiative in August of thisyear. Sanford-Burnham represents one of only two participating institutionsthat are not academic medical centers.
SOURCE: Sanford-Burnham press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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