Pfizer Worldwide R&D – Advancing Medicines and Vaccines that Matter Most to People
Pfizer is executing a comprehensive R&D strategy to become the biopharmaceutical industry leader in translating advanced science into novel medicines and vaccines that matter most to people. Since 2010, scientists in Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development (WRD) organisation have advanced this strategy across three horizons – delivering the Pfizer portfolio, innovating new capabilities and creating the R&D ecosystem of the future.
Pfizer conducts research in cardiovascular, metabolic and endocrine diseases; neuroscience; oncology; vaccines; pain and sensory disorders; immunology and autoimmunity; inflammation and remodelling; and orphan and genetic diseases. Biotech units Rinat and CovX complement the R&D portfolio with unique expertise in monoclonal antibodies and antibody drug conjugates.
Accelerating the Translation of Science into Important Drugs
Rigour and excellence in science and medicine are the foundation of Pfizer’s WRD organisation. In recent years, Pfizer has moved from a traditional small-molecule pill-in-the-bottle company to one with a breadth of scientific approaches and technologies for designing small molecule medicines, large molecule (biological) drugs and vaccines.
In early 2011, Pfizer accelerated its strategy to improve R&D productivity and generate sustainable innovation. Resources are focused on disease areas and research projects with the highest probability of scientific, medical and commercial success. The WRD organisation has expanded strategic partnerships with external researchers to make Pfizer more competitive. All drug discovery and clinical development programs are designed to offer patients a distinct medical advantage versus current treatment.
Pfizer R&D in the UK
Pfizer’s Neusentis Research Unit in Cambridge is a biotech-like unit combining research in pain, sensory disorders and regenerative medicine. The scientists there research auditory and visual disorders linked to ion channels, and take forward a regenerative medicine portfolio, including Pfizer’s first stem cell clinical study, initiated in 2011 for patients with ulcerative colitis. The R&D site in Cambridge employs approximately 150 people.
In October 2011 Pfizer acquired Icagen, a global leader in pain research, to work alongside Neusentis to grow and enhance the unit’s pain and sensory disorder portfolio through research in ion channel mechanisms. This acquisition was the result of a multi-year partnership in the ion channel space, where Icagen demonstrated a unique skillset that could enhance the work of the research unit. In March 2012 Icagen became fully integrated within Neusentis and now operates under the same name at its location in Durham, North Carolina, USA.
The Device Centre of Excellence (DCoE) group based at Cambridge, UK, is part of Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics Pharmaceutical Sciences organisation. The group specialises in the design and development of drug delivery devices, such as injectors or inhalers. DCoE both develops internally and works with a wide array of external partners to achieve the optimum device design for Pfizer’s drug delivery needs. Approximately 30 colleagues work in DCoE.
Pfizer continues to retain a presence of around 700 colleagues at the Discovery Park site in Kent, with its Pharmaceutical Sciences operations, supporting the mid and late stage portfolio.
Strategic Partners in Bioinnovation Hubs
Throughout the world, Pfizer has an extensive network of external collaborations with leading scientists and physicians in universities, academic medical centres and biotech firms. In 2010, the Centres for Therapeutic Innovation were created, providing access to Pfizer’s best-in-class antibody libraries and technologies to partners in academia with translational science expertise in drug targets, disease biology and patient populations. These strategic research alliances share the best science and speed the progress of next generation therapeutics from laboratory to clinical trials and onto the market.
In addition to the Neusentis unit in Cambridge, UK, Pfizer has research laboratories in the bioinnovation hubs of La Jolla and San Francisco, California; Pearl River, New York; and Cambridge, Massachusetts.