Pfizer, Washington University ink first-of-its-kind deal

NEW YORK Pfizer and Washington University plan to work together to find new uses for more than 500 drug compounds under what the drug maker called a first-of-its-kind collaboration between academia and industry.

Pfizer plans to give scientists at the St. Louis-based university’s medical school access to the compounds and research data. The compounds are currently or were formerly in clinical testing. Identifying new uses for existing compounds is called “indications discovery.”

Under the five-year agreement, Pfizer will give the university $22.5 million.

“There are two realities in drug discovery,” Pfizer Indications Discovery Unit chief science officer Don Frail said. “The majority of candidates tested in development do not give the desired result, yet those drugs that do succeed typically have multiple uses. By harnessing the scientific expertise at this leading academic medical center, the collaboration seeks to discover entirely new uses for these compounds in areas of high patient need that might otherwise be left undiscovered.”

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