Pfizer Pays Academics To Aid Drug Research

The company has entered a five year agreement with Washington U.in St. Louis

Pfizer To Pay Washington University To Find Alternate Uses For Drugs
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Pfizer To Pay Washington University To Find Alternate Uses For Drugs

Drug giant Pfizer is taking a new approach to research and development. The company says it will pay academics at Washington University in St. Louis to find new uses for the drugs it already markets. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Pfizer, which has a major research and development operation in Connecticut, has signed a five year agreement with the university. Pfizer will give scientists at Washington’s medical school more than $22 million to investigate possible alternative uses for 500 drugs. Some of them are already on the market, while others are compounds that have never been fully investigated.

The agreement involves sharing proprietary information about the compounds in an effort to cut down on development time. This type of work is called indications discovery, and Pfizer says it will move its existing work on indications from Missouri to a site close to Washington University.

The company has been ramping up work on its drugs pipeline as it gets ever closer to the patent expiration on its bestseller, cholesterol medicine Lipitor. The multi-billion dollar seller is due to lose its major patent protections next year.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.