UC-San Francisco Enters Deal for Drug, Biomedical Research With Pfizer
Today, officials at UC-San Francisco and drug maker Pfizer are expected to announce an unusual agreement in the pharmaceutical industry that will shift part of Pfizer's drug development process out of its traditional model, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Under the three-year agreement, Pfizer will pay up to $9.5 million for early-stage research projects that traditionally have been funded by government grants and venture capital firms.
According to the Chronicle, pharmaceutical firms often partner with academic researchers on specifically defined projects, but the collaboration between UCSF and Pfizer is unique in that the company is willing to fund projects proposed by researchers.
Researchers from UC-Santa Cruz and UC-Berkeley also will be able to participate in the collaboration through the institutions' affiliation with the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, or QB3. QB3 is the UCSF unit that negotiated the deal with Pfizer.
Daniel Santi -- a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry who will lead the UCSF management team that will help Pfizer select projects for funding -- said that the universities will hold patent rights to any discoveries funded with the Pfizer grants but that Pfizer will have the option to negotiate licenses for the innovations.
Corey Goodman -- a neurobiologist who has held faculty positions at UCSF, Stanford and Berkeley -- will oversee the collaboration for Pfizer (Tansey, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10).