CHOP Collaborates With Pfizer’s Centers For Therapeutic Innovation To Speed Pediatric Research & Development

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 1:31 pm EDT


Philadelphia, PA
"This partnership will help to expedite that process."

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Pfizer Inc. are joining forces with the goal of translating biomedical discoveries into novel treatments.  CHOP is announcing its participation in the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) network, a novel collaboration model built by Pfizer that brings academic researchers together with Pfizer scientists to expedite the pace of innovation. 

Children’s Hospital is only the second pediatric center to join the CTI network, which has established partnerships with 21 academic medical centers throughout theUnited States, such asRockefellerUniversity,BethIsraelDeaconessMedicalCenter, and theUniversityofCalifornia,San Francisco. 

“We are excited to have this opportunity to accelerate the process of moving scientific insights toward therapies that healthcare providers can offer in the clinic,” said Philip R. Johnson, M.D., chief scientific officer and senior vice president of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Johnson is one of CHOP’s representatives on a joint steering committee with Pfizer representatives that will direct CTI’s activities inPhiladelphia. 

CTI will bring together scientists from Pfizer and Children’s Hospital to identify preclinical research at CHOP with potential applications for innovative treatments.  Pfizer will share with CHOP researchers an extensive collection of antibodies and other proteins, along with other proprietary research and drug- development tools.  CHOP investigators will collaborate with Pfizer scientists at CTI laboratories in bothBostonandNew York City. 

The goal is to advance a project into a Phase 1 clinical trial. 

“This partnership will bring together the leading science at The Children’sHospitalofPhiladelphiawith Pfizer’s global capabilities,” said Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Ph.D., senior vice president, Head of Biotherapeutics R&D at Pfizer.  “Together, we increase the potential to bring novel medicines to patients.” 

A March 15 Town Hall at CHOP introduced CTI to the Hospital’s researchers, who are being encouraged to submit concise proposals by April 15 for projects to be considered.  In July 2013, the steering committee will choose projects for funding. 

This expedited timetable is much faster than the typical schedule for federally-sponsored research.  In contrast to many partnerships between private industry and academia that focus on one highly defined end-product, CTI is designed to identify cutting-edge areas of research in areas of high unmet need that hold strong potential for therapeutic interventions.   

“Working with leading academic researchers is a key part of the CTI model,” said Anthony Coyle, Ph.D., CTI’s Chief Scientific Officer.  “CHOP’s world-class reputation as a leading research hospital makes it an ideal partner for CTI as we continue our determined efforts to translate exciting science into effective medicines for patients.” 

“It’s extremely rewarding for our researchers to see their scientific work translated into bedside treatments that directly benefit children,” said Ellen Purpus, Ph.D., director of CHOP’s Office of Technology Transfer.  “This partnership will help to expedite that process.” 

About The Children’s Hospitalof Philadelphia:The Children’s Hospitalof Philadelphiawas founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital.  Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide.  Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding.  In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 516-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents.  For more information, visit

About Pfizer’s CTI

The Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) is an entrepreneurial Research Unit at Pfizer, Inc. dedicated to the establishment of partnerships with Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) to transform research and development through a focus on translational medicine.  CTI is an open innovation network with 21 leading AMCs focused on joint discovery and development of therapeutics, from early research through clinical proof-of-mechanism in humans.  This model offers leading investigators the resources to pursue potential scientific and clinical breakthroughs by providing access to select Pfizer compound libraries, proprietary screening methods and antibody development technologies that are directly relevant to the investigators' work.  The aim is to translate scientific ideas into clinically differentiated candidates ready for evaluation in a stratified patient population.  CTI laboratories include Pfizer employees working side-by-side with leading investigators and post-doctoral researchers from the AMCs.  The CTI collaborative model effectively and efficiently combines the best ideas, research and expertise of the AMCs with Pfizer's experience, technology and resources.  For more information about CTI, visit 

About Pfizer Inc.:

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, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.  To learn more, please visit us at


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John Ascenzi
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
(267) 426-6055

Jennifer Kokell
Pfizer Inc.
(212) 733-2596