PfizerVery recently Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer came into limelight by collaborating with the UK’s University College London (UCL). Pfizer believes this tie up will help them to gain a better understanding into how to develop stem cell-based therapies for certain ophthalmic conditions.

Pfizer is expected to spend approximately 55.9 million euro during the next 3–5 years to backup the breakthrough stem cell therapy, which was developed by British researchers to tackle the ophthalmic disorder age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In November 2008, Pfizer launched the Pfizer Regenerative Medicine research unit.
This independent research organization will build on the company’s experience in this field and recent scientific progress in understanding the biology of stem cells and the opportunity it provides to discover and develop a new generation of medicines for major unmet medical needs.

Initial research in this area by Pfizer was focused on the development in drug discovery tools and now expands into developing a new generation of regenerative medicines for major medical needs that could benefit millions of patients worldwide.

As per the agreement with University College London Pfizer will -

  • provide funding to UCL to enable research into the development of stem cell-based therapies for AMD, as well as other retinal diseases.
  • have the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize an RPE stem cell-based therapeutic in the ophthalmology field.
  • (After the completion of preclinical safety studies)  have the option to conduct clinical trials to determine efficacy of treatment and commercialize any resulting product.

Nick Higgins, the CEO of Intercytex Group, welcomes this significant endorsement by Pfizer of the potential of stem cell research. While there are existing therapies to treat the less common wet form of AMD, there are currently no therapies to treat dry forms of the disease.

Source: Pharmaceutical Technology