The QB3-Pfizer Alliance

Pfizer and QB3 have worked together since 2008 as strategic partners in an alliance focused on engaging UC faculty and Pfizer scientists in collaborative R&D opportunities. Over 25 collaborations have been funded since the partnership was initiated and have produced several licensing opportunities and numerous publications. In 2011, Pfizer expanded the scope of this partnership to include collaborations with startups via the Pfizer Seed Fund, an investment vehicle also administered through Pfizer’s External R&D Innovation (ERDI) organization.

Most successful academic/pharma collaborations arise from projects where each partner is able to contribute not only complementary scientific skill sets but also unique insights necessary for addressing specific scientific questions. Pfizer is looking for these types of external projects to collaborate on and is focused on those that directly align with their current R&D strategies (for an overview of Pfizer’s current interests and needs please see Pfizer’s partnering brochure). Collaborative opportunities of interest to Pfizer will be supported through direct funding of laboratory personnel and reagents used in the project and can also include in-kind support from across Pfizer’s extensive internal R&D capabilities.

Current projects

In general, Pfizer will give priority to projects that are most directly applicable to the near-term development of novel therapeutics, or to those technologies that will support the development of therapeutics. However, Pfizer is also interested in collaborating in discoveries that will lead to the next generation of therapeutics. In this regard Pfizer will periodically highlight “challenges” and unmet needs that academia is uniquely positioned to address. These forward-looking concepts and R&D bottlenecks will be summarized on this link and updated several times per year. The current areas that are being considered are listed below. Investigators are also encouraged to suggest their own challenges (and solutions) that may represent a critical need in the pharmaceutical industry.

Latest highlighted challenges to pharma R&D (Q3 2013)

  • Novel immunotherapy approaches for oncology indications and methods for rapid assessment of novel clinical combinations
    As this area continues to make impressive advances in the clinic, there is an increased demand to not only validate new targets and pathways, but to also be able to rapidly evaluate clinical strategies that explore combination therapies which incorporate an immunomodulatory component.
  • Precision medicine tools for cardiovascular and neuro (neurodegenerative & neuropsychiatric) disease indications that can facilitate clinical development of novel therapeutics
    Improved methods for predicting patient response as a means to segment patient populations in clinical development are pivotal for advancing the development of therapeutics in these areas of high unmet need.
  • Methods for rapidly evaluating or predicting the in vivo bioactivity of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) variants
    There is a lot of progress being made in developing novel antibody labeling techniques to create ADCs as well as advances with new linkers and payloads used to generate these entities. Changing any one of these variables can affect the pharmacodynamic and/or therapeutic properties of the ADC. Novel approaches are being sought for rapidly evaluating or predicting exactly how these variables will impact the activity of the molecule in vivo.

Please use the RFP form to submit a brief summary/outline of the project you envision. The RFP process has a rolling submission timeline, with applications reviewed on a regular basis. Those that meet Pfizer’s interests and needs will be followed up by Neena Kadaba, QB3’s director of industry alliances. Feel free to contact Neena about any ideas or projects.

Material transfers

A master agreement has been signed to enable access to Pfizer compounds. Investigators that have a project that would benefit from incorporating compounds from Pfizer should also contact Neena.