University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

UCSF, Pfizer Renew Research Collaboration, Citing Progress in Drug Discovery Research

By Laura Kurtzman | UCSF.edu | January 9, 2017

UCSF, Pfizer Renew Research Collaboration, Citing Progress in Drug Discovery Research

Daniel Lim (right), MD, PhD, is part of the UCSF team collaborating with Pfizer on developing a treatment for malignant brain tumors in young children due to a genetic mutation. Photo by Bruce DaSilva

UC San Francisco and Pfizer Inc.’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) have renewed an agreement to identify and develop biologic compounds against both known and novel targets, including the immune system, in diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

The collaboration allows UCSF and Pfizer to find and fund early-stage research projects. Projects are identified periodically through a process that includes an announcement of requests for proposals, proposal submissions, and reviews by a steering committee composed of leading Pfizer and UCSF scientists.

In 2010, UCSF became the first university to enter into a collaboration with CTI, a Pfizer research group with the goal of speeding the discovery and development of innovative antibody drugs, and, in 2013, it was the first institution to enter into a collaboration with CTI specifically to identify potential new small molecules against novel disease targets.

There are several ongoing research projects under the collaboration. One focuses on developing a treatment for malignant brain tumors in young children due to a genetic mutation with a novel small molecule kinase inhibitor. The team at UCSF consists of Nalin Gupta MD, PhD, Daniel A. Lim, MD, PhD, and Michael D. Prados, MD, from the Department of Neurological Surgery. Another, in which CTI has partnered with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and is working with UCSF scientist Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, focuses on developing a novel immune-modulatory agent to treat Type 1 diabetes, which may be on an accelerated path toward human clinical trials. 

Read more at UCSF.edu