Pfizer Establishes New Partnering Model for Early-Stage Academic Research

Pfizer has created a new, early-stage partnering model (Innovative Target Exploration Network [ITEN]) to enable relationships with select academic institutions and principal investigators to identify research projects and deliver therapeutic targets in Pfizer’s core areas of interest.

The ITEN model is expected to allow researchers from Pfizer and partner institutions to share ideas for pairing academia’s research with industry’s translational capabilities and network of resources and relationships.

Pfizer says the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford are the first to participate in the ITEN model in the UK, and the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) is the first to participate in the US. Pfizer is seeking to include other institutions to be part of the ITEN model.

Each ITEN is managed by an external scientific innovation lead from Pfizer, who serves as the liaison between senior scientists from Pfizer and academic principal investigators from the applicable institution, and who facilitates discussions on research topics of mutual interest.

Established in 2017, the first ITEN partnerships with Cambridge, Oxford and UTSW have each generated research projects that have been identified, according to Pfizer.

The Cambridge and Oxford University research projects each will focus on deubiquitinylation enzymes, a gene family that Pfizer says might aid in potentially treating cancer as well as autoimmune and cardio-metabolic diseases as well as rare diseases.

The UTSW research project is a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning immunologist Dr. Bruce Beutler, focused on a forward genetics approach to elucidating genetic targets for specific indications, particularly in oncology and metabolic disease, according to the company.

Source: Pfizer

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