Saturday, June 28, 2008

UPenn Med School Partners With Pfizer For Clinical R&D

(previously published at

Philadelphia - The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has entered into a three-year partnership with pharmaceutical research giant, Pfizer Inc., to collaborate in the areas of scientific research, clinical development and clinical care and policy.

Pfizer will pay Penn $15 million over the course of the three years, during which time project proposals will be solicited and reviewed by a committee with members representing both the industry and academia.

Projects chosen will address several therapeutic areas of basic and translational research, initially focusing on the neurosciences and oncology before possibly expanding to other areas of specialization.

According to the National Institutes of Health's Roadmap of Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise, basic research is the phase where scientists study disease at a molecular and cellular level. Translational research is when these basic tools are applied towards patient treatment, allowing doctors to make observations about disease progression that can be used for further clinical research.

Another aim of the partnership is to develop an initiative to improve the management of cardiovascular risk and patient adherence to treatment, with the goal of using those results to create similar programs at other academic centers.

Patients for the pilot program will be those currently served by the University of Pennsylvania's Health System.

In the realm of clinical policy, the partnership will also enable the University and Pfizer to go over how health-care policy is currently applied in patient treatment and care.

"We are excited to work wit Pfizer in a manner that spans the health care continuum, from pre-clinical research through patient care, in a way that can serve as a model for optimal interactions between industry and academia," said Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, and Dean of the School of Medicine, in a Pfizer press release.

Since 1985, Pfizer and the UPenn's School of Medicine have had an ongoing relationship in the area of clinical studies, with Pfizer sponsoring 130 studies at Penn across 10 therapeutic areas, including oncology, psychiatry and infectious disease.

Heather J. Chin can be reached at

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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