Pfizer Launches First Annual PCSK9 Competitive Grants Program to Advance Cardiovascular Disease Research
Pfizer Inc. today announced the launch of a new competitive grants program the company is funding to support research projects investigating the role of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in health and cardiovascular disease. This competitive grants program, which is an extension of the Advancing Science through Pfizer Investigator Research Exchange (ASPIRE) Cardiovascular program, is part of Pfizer's ongoing commitment to translate scientific discoveries into innovative medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease. Pfizer currently is studying bococizumab, an investigational PCSK9 inhibitor, in a Phase 3 clinical trial program, known as SPIRE (Studies of PCSK9 Inhibition and the Reduction of vascular Events), for its potential to lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and improve cardiovascular outcomes.
Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, remains a global, public health issue despite many advances in treatment. The first annual ASPIRE Cardiovascular competitive grants program will fund multiple grants of up to $100,000 each to support research designed to uncover new insights about the role of the PCSK9 protein/gene in health and disease.
"One of the most exciting new areas for scientific exploration in cardiovascular disease is focused on PCSK9,” stated Professor John Chapman, director emeritus of the Dyslipidemia and Atherosclerosis Research Unit of the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) at the Pitié-Salpétrière University Hospital in Paris, France. "It is our earnest desire that the research projects selected will advance the current understanding of PCSK9 biology and in this way, contribute significantly to the next generation of potential therapies targeted to cardiovascular diseases."
"Our development of the ASPIRE Cardiovascular competitive grants program aligns with a key area of focus for Pfizer: advancing the science, finding and developing new medicines that will treat - and ultimately may prevent - cardiovascular disease," said Rory O’Connor, senior vice president, Global Medical Affairs, Global Innovative Pharmaceuticals Business, Pfizer Inc.
Grantees will be selected through a competitive application process overseen by an independent Review Committee of leading experts. The Committee will be chaired by Professor Chapman.
The Review Committee encourages investigators (with a special interest for emerging researchers at Assistant Professor level or equivalent) to submit applications for innovative research in several areas. Highlights of the research of interest include:
- Pathophysiology of non-diabetic or diabetic dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic vascular disease
- Lipoprotein particles, cellular lipoprotein receptors, and lipid homeostasis
- Role of PCSK9 in lipoprotein (a) metabolism
- Vascular biology
- Pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases other than atherosclerosis
- Non-lipid/lipoprotein effects of PCSK9
- PCSK9 and the immune system
- PCSK9 and infectious disease
- Identifying the unmet needs and/or residual risk in high risk secondary/primary prevention patients that may be addressed by PCSK9 inhibitors
Eligible research projects for this program include: basic/pre-clinical/clinical science and outcomes/epidemiological research to understand unmet needs and/or residual risk in high risk secondary/primary prevention patients that may be addressed by PCSK9 inhibitors.
For more information about the ASPIRE Cardiovascular competitive grants program and specifics regarding eligible areas of research, please visit www.aspireresearch.org. The application submission period opened April 1, 2015 and ends May 28, 2015.
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PFIZER DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as of April 9, 2015. 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 a product candidate, bococizumab and the PCSK9 competitive grants program, 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, without limitation, the ability to meet anticipated clinical trial commencement and completion dates as well as the possibility of unfavorable clinical trial results, including unfavorable new clinical data and additional analyses of existing clinical data; whether the PCSK9 competitive grants program will be successful; whether and when new drug applications may be filed in any jurisdictions for bococizumab; whether and when such applications may be approved by regulatory authorities, 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; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of bococizumab; 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, 2014 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information That May Affect Future Results", as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.