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Phila Children’s Hospital Joins Pfizer Research Network

Child taking medicine from parent (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

(U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is joining an academic research network of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. in New York, with selection of specific joint projects expected in July 2013. Financial and intellectual property aspects of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Researchers from Children’s Hospital will take part in Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation network, focusing on the development of treatments for pediatric disorders. The network has partnerships with researchers at 21 academic medical centers, who work with counterparts from Pfizer at dedicated labs in in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and San Diego. Pfizer says academic researchers taking part in the network have access to Pfizer’s compound libraries, screening methods, and antibody development technologies.

The collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will first identify preclinical research opportunities. The hospital held a meeting with staff in mid-March to announce the program internally, and set a deadline of 15 April for submission of research proposals. A steering committee is expected to select the funded projects in July 2013, in a schedule much faster than that for federally sponsored research.

Pfizer says its Centers for Therapeutic Innovation is designed to identify research opportunities in areas representing high unmet needs where new therapies can make a diference. Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia are expected to work at Pfizer labs in Boston and New York, with the goal of advancing one of its projects into a phase 1 clinical trial, an early test of early safety and efficacy.

“It’s extremely rewarding for our researchers to see their scientific work translated into bedside treatments that directly benefit children,” says Ellen Purpus, the hospital’s technology transfer director. “This partnership will help to expedite that process.”

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