Pfizer, WashU Strike Deal On Research Pact
May 17, 2010
Pfizer, WashU strike deal on research pact
By Jim Doyle
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Two of St. Louis' major powerhouses announced a unique partnership today whose purpose is to discover new uses for existing drugs and to accelerate the development of scientific knowledge about human biology and disease.
Pfizer Inc. and the Washington University School of Medicine have struck an agreement that will provide university researchers with confidential access to a virtual medicine cabinet of hundreds of chemical compounds that the pharmaceutical company has investigated to varying degrees or are currently being tested on humans.
As part of the agreement, Pfizer has pledged $22.5 million to fund joint research projects between scientists from the university and the drug maker. Those projects will be geared toward exploiting recent advances in genetic science by investigating how specific compounds interact with the disease mechanisms in different subgroups of human populations.
Through a 'secure web portal,' university researchers will be able to survey the properties and mechanisms of more than 500 chemical compounds. Some of the compounds will be drugs currently on the market; others are relatively new or part of Pfizer's internal clinical investigations on humans; and some were previously tested by Pfizer, but research was discontinued for various reasons.
“There are compounds in this collection that have not previously been disclosed to others,” said Don Frail, chief scientific officer of the drug maker's Indications Discovery unit, a 30-member research team that will be based at the new Center of Research Technology and Entrepreneurial Expertise, next to the Washington University School of Medicine. “We haven't given this kind of information out before, ever.”
Reprinted with permission of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Copyright 2010.