Pfizer to Collaborate With UK Universities
Pfizer has entered a five year collaborative agreement with the Global Medical Excellence Cluster (GMEC) in the UK that will conduct research and develop new medicines aimed at rare diseases.
GMEC is comprised of six British universities: Cambridge University, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Queen Mary University London, University College London and Oxford University. Their scientists will collaborate with Pfizer’s on joint drug discovery programs.
Combining Pfizer’s drug and developmental skills with the scientific and clinical excellence of the GMEC has the potential to generate new innovative medicines for the treatment of debilitating and life-threatening conditions, according to the institutions.
Queen Mary University said the initiative will build on advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind rare diseases. It also will benefit from the significant progress made by the UK Government in building support for genomics research, such as the creation of Genomics England.
“It underlines the UK’s strengths in biomedical research and creates an important vehicle for academic and industrial scientists to work together with the goal to translate fundamental research into benefit for patients,” said Sir John Bell, chairman of GMEC and a professor of medicine at University of Oxford.
Over 6,000 recognized rare diseases collectively affect roughly 60 million across Europe and the U.S., and 80 percent of those diseases is thought to have a genetic origin.
Initial rollout of the program has already begun. Senior Pfizer scientists currently are visiting the GMEC Universities to launch the initiative, Queen Mary University said. — Kellen Owings