Pfizer, University College London form AMD collaboration

May 6, 2009

Pfizer Regenerative Medicine has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with University College London with a goal of developing stem cell-based therapies primarily for wet and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but for other retinal diseases as well.

Cambridge, England

-Pfizer Regenerative Medicine has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with University College London (UCL) with a goal of developing stem cell-based therapies primarily for wet and dry age-related macular degeneration but for other retinal diseases as well.

“We are excited to be working with pioneers in the field of stem cell ophthalmology from UCL,” said Ruth McKernan, PhD, chief scientific officer of Pfizer Regenerative Medicine. “While we have much to learn about how stem cells can be used therapeutically, we are confident that this relationship will increase that understanding and help us advance to a time when our work may benefit patients worldwide.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will provide funding to UCL to enable the research. The company, in turn, will be granted exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize a retinal pigment epithelium stem cell-based drug in the ophthalmology field. After the completion of preclinical safety studies, Pfizer would have the option to conduct clinical trials to determine efficacy of treatment and commercialize any resulting product.

“We have not only the benefit of Pfizer’s experience of the regulatory process and their expertise in stem cell technology, but the ability, if this works, to produce on a much larger scale,” said Pete Coffey, DPhil, professor of cellular therapy and visual sciences, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, and director of the London Project to Cure Blindness. “It has huge implications, not only for our project but for the field of regenerative medicine as a whole.”