(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer, Inc (NYSE: PFE), the world's premier biopharmaceutical company, and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the private, non-profit patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced today that they have signed a license for human embryonic stem (hES) cell patents for the development of new drug therapies.
The WARF license provides Pfizer the rights to work with hES cells for drug research and discovery. Securing appropriate licenses, in an area as broad and rapidly moving as regenerative medicine, helps ensure rapid and efficient utilization of the many existing discoveries and inventions in this field and allows for the efficient transfer of information for development of future inventions.
“Our license with WARF provides us with information and materials that will allow us to use their cell lines to explore a whole new range of therapies,” said Ruth McKernan, PhD, chief scientific officer of Pfizer Regenerative Medicine. “Stem cells can be used to create specialized human tissue. Our scientists will determine how new medicines may be able to improve the way stem cells regenerate damaged tissues. We will be optimizing the production of cells that could, one day, be used for therapeutic purposes.”
“Pfizer’s stem-cell R&D goal is three fold: to use human cells as tools in our drug discovery efforts, to improve the safety of new treatments and most importantly to move towards cell therapy,” said McKernan. “The benefit to public health could be tremendous as we pursue our discoveries to advance the treatment of debilitating diseases.”
"We are pleased to enter into this licensing agreement with Pfizer," said Carl E. Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF. "Pfizer’s access to this key intellectual property may have far-reaching benefits for both public health and Wisconsin’s growing biotechnology industry."
As advances in health care help people live longer, the need for new medicines to keep people healthy continues to grow. Pfizer researchers and scientists are working to discover and develop new ways to treat and prevent life-threatening and debilitating illnesses, as well as to improve wellness and quality of life.
In November 2008, Pfizer launched the Pfizer Regenerative Medicine research unit. This independent research organization will build on Pfizer's years of experience in this field and recent progress in understanding the biology of hES cells. Stem cells provide an opportunity to discover and develop a new generation of medicines for major medical needs. Pfizer’s initial research in this area focused on the development of drug discovery tools and now expands into developing regenerative medicines that could benefit millions of patients worldwide.
About Pfizer Inc
Founded in 1849, Pfizer is the world's premier biopharmaceutical company taking new approaches to better health. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the world to expand access to our medicines and to provide better quality health care and health system support. At Pfizer, more than 80,000 colleagues in more than 90 countries work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide.
About Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)
WARF was established in 1925 as the world's first university-based technology transfer office. It is a private, non-profit supporting organization to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the top-ranked public research universities in the U.S. WARF supports research at the university by protecting the intellectual property of its faculty, staff and students, and licensing their discoveries to companies for commercial use to benefit humankind.
PFIZER DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as of May 5, 2009. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about a licensing agreement between Pfizer and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation relating to human embryonic stem cell patents for the development of new drug therapies. This information involves substantial risks and uncertainties including, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development activities; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding whether and when to approve any drug applications that may be filed for any such drug therapies as well as their decisions regarding labeling and other matters that could affect
their availability or commercial potential; and competitive developments.
A further list and description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008 and in its reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
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