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In the US today, 7 of the 10 leading causes of disability are neurological and psychiatric disorders. To meet these patient needs, Pfizer is taking a bold leadership approach that spans symptomatic to disease-modifying therapies. As a result, Pfizer is investigating new ways to attack Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, schizophrenia and other debilitating conditions of the nervous system. In addition, we continue to expand inquiry into alpha-2-delta binding site agents, the mechanism that has already led to the development of Neurontin® (gabapentin) and Lyrica® (pregabalin capsules). Pfizer neuroscientists are eager to work with world-class partners and collaborators who share our mission to improve the lives of patients suffering from neurological and psychiatric disorders.

WRD is interested in establishing alliances, partnerships and collaborations to develop therapeutics, expand our disease biology understanding, and to identify biomarkers that impact:

  • Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
  • Parkinson's Disease (PD)
  • Huntington's Disease
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Hearing loss
  • Schizophrenia: Positive, negative and cognitive deficits
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

Pfizer is also interested in Muscular Disorders, Eating Disorders, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis, Friedrich's Ataxia, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Specific areas of interest include:

Neurodegeneration / Neurological Disease:

  • Novel potential symptomatic agents for AD or PD (could include L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias)
  • Agents affecting microvascular circulation and brain metabolism with validated link to AD
  • Imaging agents (e.g., tau, synuclein, neurotransmitters, neuroinflammation and gliosis)
  • Translational biomarkers — preclinical to clinical
  • Biological samples (e.g., induced pluripotent stem cells) from well defined AD or PD patient populations
  • Agents impacting neuroinflammation
  • Conformational antibody that has cross reactivity to all "amyloids" (e.g., tau, Aß, huntingtin, Δ synuclien)
  • Novel delivery of growth factors and other biotherapeutics (e.g., viral delivery or implanted device)

Psychiatry / Behavioral Disorders:

  • Novel depression treatments with ketamine-like profile (speed of onset / duration) without psychological side effects
  • Adjunctive agents for residual symptons of major depression disorder (e.g., anxiety)
  • Adjunctive schizophrenia agents with negative and/or cognitive symptom efficacy, e.g., GlyT1, mGluR2/3, GABA agents
  • PET imaging agent for CNS psychiatry targets
  • Novel technologies for monitoring patient behavior, compliance and/or treatment efficacy of any modality
  • Biological samples (e.g., induced pluripotent stem cells) from well defined psychiatric disease patient populations
  • Improved clinical or animal models of cognitive domains in psychiatry that are amenable to translation
  • Quantitative neuropsychological testing methodologiess
  • Agents/approaches targeting novel disease hypotheses (oxidative stress, inflammation, myelination, neuronal migration deficits, neurogenesis)
  • Novel large molecule approaches (peptides, antibodies, peripheral or central)
  • Novel mechanisms targeting prodromal disease

Enabling Technologies:

  • Remote cognition assessment tools
  • Sensor/biosensors that measure motor dysfunction via ocular end points
  • Functional imaging studies (FDG, fMRI, MRS) evaluating disease relevant circuitry and processes
  • Fast imaging analysis with lower variability
  • Acquisition and analysis tools for high throughput processing of electrophysiology/EEG data in rodents, non human primates, and humans
  • Computerized/web-based tools for cognitive assessment in humans that have been cross-validated with standard saclesscales but allow for multi-domain assessment
  • In vitro blood brain barrier models comprised of rodent, non human primate or human
  • In vivo blood brain barrier models
  • Mechanisms of trans-blood brain barrier transport with robust improvement in pharmacokinetics and in which the mechanism is well understood

Not actively seeking partnering opportunities in:

  • Protein "anti-aggregators"
  • "Black box" mechanisms
  • Aß lowering agents: small molecules (unless in P1 or later) and/or large molecules
  • Large molecule therapeutics with CNS targets absent data for brain penetration
  • Anti-oxidants
  • COMT Inhibitors; MAO Inhibitors
  • D2/5-HT based anti-psychotic drugs with low possibility of differentiation
  • Stand alone mania treatments
  • SSRIs, SNRIs

External R&D Innovation Contact: Jay Kranzler

R & D Brochure


Understand what R&D is looking for in an early stage opportunity.


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