Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
    Pfizer Press releaseResearch

Pfizer Establishes New Partnering Model for Early-Stage Academic Research

The Innovative Target Exploration Network (ITEN) aims to foster a novel collaborative relationship with select academic institutions and principal investigators in key hubs of scientific excellence The model is designed to identify academic research projects that have the potential to deliver innovative therapeutic targets and mechanisms of action within Pfizer’s core areas of expertise University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and University of Texas Southwestern are the first institutions to participate

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced the creation of the Innovative Target Exploration Network (ITEN), a new, early-stage partnering model that enables collaborative relationships with select academic institutions and principal investigators around the world, to identify research projects that have the potential to deliver novel therapeutic targets and mechanisms of action to underpin future drug discovery in core areas of interest to Pfizer.

Complementing Pfizer’s long-standing commitment to academic collaboration, the ITEN model will allow researchers from Pfizer and partner institutions to share ideas for pairing academia’s cutting-edge research with industry’s translational capabilities and wide network of resources and relationships.

The University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford are the first to participate in the ITEN model in the United Kingdom, and the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) is the first to participate in the United States. Pfizer is seeking to selectively include other institutions to be part of the ITEN model.

‘Creative and Agile Scientific Interaction’

Each ITEN is managed by an External Scientific Innovation Lead (ESIL) from Pfizer, who serves as the liaison between senior scientists from Pfizer and academic principal investigators from the applicable institution, and who facilitates discussions on research topics of mutual interest.

“The ITEN partnering model creates an environment of creative and agile scientific interaction,” said Uwe Schoenbeck, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, External Science & Innovation, Pfizer. “By establishing relationships with researchers early in the research and development process, we believe the ITEN model will better position us to identify potentially promising research projects – focused on seeking unique technology platforms and outstanding biology expertise – continually building on our mission to bring innovative new therapies to patients in need.”

Cambridge, Oxford and UTSW Research Projects Identified

Established in 2017, the first ITEN partnerships with Cambridge, Oxford and UTSW have each already generated research projects that have been identified.

The Cambridge and Oxford University research projects each will focus on deubiquitinylation enzymes (DUBs), a gene family previously considered challenging to target, that might aid in potentially treating cancer as well as autoimmune, cardio-metabolic diseases and rare diseases.

The UTSW research project is a collaboration with Nobel Prize-winning immunologist Dr. Bruce Beutler, focused on a forward genetics approach to elucidating genetic targets for specific indications, particularly in oncology and metabolic disease.

Commitment to Academic Collaborations

The ITEN model further demonstrates Pfizer’s ongoing commitment to partnering with academia to foster the creation of the next generation of breakthrough medicines. By starting the discovery process before a preclinical candidate is identified, the ITEN model will complement the successful work of Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI), a pioneering collaboration model that was launched by Pfizer in 2010 to forge academic-foundation-industry collaborations and to bridge the gap between early scientific discovery and its translation into clinical candidates. With 25 academic institutions and six foundations in its network, as well as the National Institutes of Health, CTI has successfully brought multiple projects to the clinic across a diversity of disease areas.

“By focusing on research collaborations around early biology and therapeutic concepts, our ITEN collaborations will seek out innovative science and technology,” said Schoenbeck. “As research projects progress, we will work with the given institution to move them into the clinical phase using therapeutically aligned research units or through CTI.”

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at

Pfizer Disclosure Notice:

The information contained in this release is as of January 8, 2018. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update 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 research and development and the Innovative Target Exploration Network (ITEN), including their potential benefits, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated pre-clinical and clinical study commencement and completion dates as well as the possibility of unfavorable study results, including unfavorable new data and additional analyses of existing data; whether and when any applications may be filed with regulatory authorities for any potential therapies that may result from any collaborations; whether and when regulatory authorities may approve any such applications, which will depend on the assessment by such regulatory authorities of the benefit-risk profile suggested by the totality of the efficacy and safety information submitted, and, if approved, whether any such therapies will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any such potential therapies that may result from any collaborations; and competitive developments.

A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results", as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at and

Samantha Reardon, (212) 733-1461
Charles Triano, (212) 733-3901

Sign up for the latest Pfizer Wire news alerts

Receive real-time updates on Pfizer’s news delivered directly to your inbox.

Our Pipeline: Potential Breakthroughs in the Making

We're elevating our breakthroughs in a bold new way. Check out our new visualized product pipeline.

Online Counterfeit Medicines

People in the US, and around the globe, are increasingly falling victim to counterfeit drugs sold illegally online.

Harnessing the Potential of mRNA

Learn more about mRNA technology .

Science Hub

With 25,000 clinical researchers testing every day and cutting-edge innovations, our science holds the cure.

Lab B-roll Video

Supplemental video of one of our labs.

Stay up to date on the latest news and alerts through the Pfizer Wire

Sign up to receive real-time updates on Pfizer’s news from the Pfizer Media Relations team delivered directly to your inbox. 


Sign Up Now