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ACTRI and Pfizer Announce the Call for Pre-Proposals for Biotherapeutic and Small-Molecule Targets

Deadline for pre-proposals: Monday, April 23, 2018

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


  • Large Molecules: antibodies, proteins, fusion proteins, antibody conjugates
  • Small Molecules: target classes include kinases, deubiquitinating enzymes, GPCRs, ion channels, solute transporters, and epigenetic targets

Therapeutic Areas of interest Spring 2018


Targets/Pathways that:

  • Enhance anti-tumor immune responses alone or in combination with Standard of Care
  • Enhance immune surveillance (e.g., tumor neoAg recognition)
  • Target unique aspects of tumor or TME metabolic activity
  • Exploit vulnerabilities in tumor heterogeneity, senescence, plasticity
  • Promote or enable tumor selective/specific drug delivery or targeting

Inflammation and Immunology

Targets/Pathways that:

  • Regulate tissue-specific immune cell activation or function
  • Exploit immune cell or lineage specific metabolic pathways
  • Modulate inflammation and/or tissue remodeling and repair in the context of liver fibrosis (NAFLD/NASH)
  • Promote gut epithelial barrier health and integrity
  • Regulate antigen-specific tolerance induction and/or modulate T regulatory cells

Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Targets/Pathways that:

  • Reverse hepatic steatosis associated with NAFLD/NASH
  • Inhibit lipolysis to treat NAFLD/NASH
  • Reverse cachexia experienced by patients with cancer or chronic diseases such as heart failure, chronic kidney disease and COPD
  • Reverse muscle insulin resistance in patients with T2DM
  • Improve heart failure by specifically correcting defects in cardiac metabolism

Rare Diseases

Targets/Pathways that:

  • Represent novel targets for non-malignant hematologic indications (including sickle cell disease and complement mediated diseases)
  • Address skeletal and cardiac muscle diseases (including Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophies)
  • Treat repeat expansion diseases including Huntington’s disease, ALS/FTD and myotonic dystrophy

Please contact Mary Faris and Amrit Shahzad

Please click images below to download relevant documents

CTI Pre-proposal Template
CTI Pre-proposal Template

CTI 2018 Large & Small Molecule Targets Flyer
CTI 2018 Large & Small Molecule Targets Flyer