Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation Requests Proposals for Therapeutic Targets

Deadline for pre-proposals: Monday, April 29, 2019

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and Pfizer's Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) are seeking pre-proposals from UC San Diego Health Sciences faculty interested in a drug discovery collaboration with the Pfizer CTI. Proposals are sought for biotherapeutic and small-molecule targets.

Prior to submitting a pre-proposal, investigators are encouraged to meet with Dr. Mary Faris, Senior Director, ES&I, Pfizer, to discuss their projects for suitability for the drug discovery partnership.

CTI Looks for projects geared to drug discovery efforts with the following characteristics:

  • Strong project rationale, demonstrated association between target biology and disease mechanism
  • Novel drug targets with potential to lead to differentiated drugs
  • Link between target pathway and human disease
  • Ability to address unmet medical needs
  • Feasibility: tractable target, potential for discovery/development plan

Modalities Considered

  • Large Molecules: antibodies, proteins, fusion proteins, antibody conjugates, conditional activated biotherapeutics for enhanced tissue/tumor targeting
  • Small Molecules: target classes include kinases, deubiquitinating enzymes, GPCRs, ion channels, solute transporters, epigenetic targets, phosphatases, and RNA modulators

Areas of Interest:

  • Cancer – select solid tumors: colorectal, breast, lung, prostate, pancreatic, hepatocellular, ovarian cancers.
  • Autoimmunity/Inflammation – inflammatory bowel disease, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Metabolic – cardiometabolism, cachexia.
  • Rare monogenic hematologic (non-malignant) disorders, neurologic/neuromuscular disorders, inborn errors of metabolism, endocrine, renal and cardiovascular diseases. Ultra-rare indications are not in scope at this time.

Targets/Pathways Focus:

  • DNA damage recognition and repair (e.g. replication stress or repair mechanisms)
  • Tissue–resident immune modulation (e.g. adaptive or innate mechanisms, immunometabolism, etc.)
  • Immune activators /enhancers (e.g. nucleic acid sensing, toll-like receptors etc)  
  • Modulation of senescence in cancer and non-neoplastic indications
  • DNA repeat expansion diseases (e.g. Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, myotonic dystrophy or frontotemporal dementia)
  • Regulation of epithelial or mucosal barrier function including autophagy, host-microbe interactions
  • Modulation of fibrosis pathways, either metabolism/stress-induced or inflammation-induced (possibly tumor-driven)
  • Regulation of antigen-specific immune tolerance induction
  • Emerging metabolic regulators in heart failure, satiety, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and muscle biology

CTI Collaborations may include:

  • Funded project-related research
  • Hands-on collaboration from dedicated Pfizer drug-development experts
  • Access to scientific/technological expertise and infrastructure at Pfizer
  • Potential for financial incentives in the form of milestone and royalty payments
  • Flexible publishing rights
  • Opportunity for involvement in CTI’s Foundation collaborations

Pre-proposal Submission Process

Submission entails a non-confidential 2-3 page overview of the target, mechanism, evidence for disease linkage, and the proposed therapeutic drug. At a high level, the pre-proposal should suggest how the therapeutic hypothesis could be tested in the clinic

For Information

All researchers and clinicians whose work meets these criteria are invited to apply. Please submit non-confidential pre-proposals to your Technology Transfer Office by April 29th. For further information about submitting a pre-proposal, please contact Eric Mah.

For further information about areas of focus, please contact Dr. Mary Faris.

Please click images below to download relevant documents

CTI Pre-proposal Template
CTI Pre-proposal Template

Pfizer 2019 Therapueutic Targets
UCSD 2018 CT Large Small Flyer Cycle 2