(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced today that it has established a research collaboration with Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) and its wholly owned subsidiary, United BioSource Corporation (UBC), aimed at more effectively matching patients with treatments that will benefit them the most, thereby improving patient outcomes.
The collaboration is intended to enhance Pfizer’s precision medicine approach, which integrates genomic and phenotypic information, to help understand the underlying biology of disease and identify patients likely to benefit from a new drug. In the future, this approach could make it possible to precisely select disease targets and improve the safety and effectiveness of medical treatments in real-world practice.
New treatments may target particular subgroups of patients with similar genetic profiles and physical characteristics that make these patients more likely to benefit from certain drugs.
“We have long recognized that patients with the same disease do not respond the same way to the same medicine,” said Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., Pfizer’s executive vice president and chief medical officer, speaking at the TEDMED conference in San Diego today. “This agreement is designed to enable us to identify approaches to developing new medicines that take the differences among patients into consideration. In the end, the goal is treating the right patients with the right medicines to improve their health.”
For example, the collaboration may look at individuals who are genetically predisposed to develop a particular disease. The development of this particular disease may be affected by environmental factors or patient characteristics such as genetic information, diet, body weight, age, and smoking. Based on information about similar patients, it may be possible to determine if these individuals are more likely to benefit from one course of treatment than another and provide information to guide treatment decisions that can improve the health of others in the same subgroup.
“Pfizer is pleased to partner with Medco to leverage our combined expertise to pursue the potential of precision medicine to deliver medicines that matter most,” said Mikael Dolsten, M.D., PhD, president of Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer. “Through this collaboration, we will apply our collective capabilities toward the goal of strengthening innovation from discovery to clinical practice -- identifying high-potential drug targets, the characteristics of patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment, and new solutions for patient needs that emerge from our joint studies over time.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer and Medco will collaborate to identify and evaluate patient subgroups in which investigational drugs and marketed drugs are shown to be most effective in improving patient care and health. As a part of this agreement, Medco and Pfizer will jointly plan and implement precision medicine studies and initiatives, maintaining patient privacy in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and other applicable data use obligations.
The drivers of the precision medicine approach include a critical focus on human biology and pathogenic -- or disease-causing -- mechanisms; effective interpretation and application of genomic information about groups of patients with the same disease; the ability to identify unique information that emerges from patient studies to shed light on treatment responses; and new application of all of this knowledge to every stage of drug discovery and development.
Pfizer and Medco, which have worked together on many product-specific programs, are in the process of identifying collaborative opportunities under this new agreement.
About 1,000 people attended the TEDMED conference this week to hear speakers from the forefront of medical innovation describe cutting-edge health and medicine initiatives.
About Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global healthcare portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer 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 the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with healthcare providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable healthcare around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at www.pfizer.com.
DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as of October 26, 2011. 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 that involves substantial risks and uncertainties about a research collaboration between Pfizer, Medco Health Solutions, Inc. and its subsidiary United BioSource Corporation that is intended to enhance Pfizer’s precision medicine approach, including the potential benefits of the collaboration. Such risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in pharmaceutical research.
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, 2010 and in its reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering The world’s most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for approximately 65 million members.
With more than 20,000 employees worldwide dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2010 revenues of $66 billion, Medco ranks 34th on the 2011 Fortune 500 list and is named among the world’s most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies.
For more information, go to http://www.medcohealth.com.
About United BioSource Corporation
United BioSource Corporation (UBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS), is a global scientific and medical affairs organization that partners with life science companies to make medicine and medical products smarter for all stakeholders in the health care landscape. UBC helps deliver authoritative, real-world evidence to characterize product effectiveness, address safety risk, and demonstrate value. UBC brings together recognized scientific and industry experts, research operations professionals, and new technologies to provide innovative solutions across the product lifecycle. The company is headquartered in Chevy Chase, MD with offices in North and South America, Europe and Asia. For more information about UBC, visit www.unitedbiosource.com.