As part of a new collaboration, Sanford-Burnham at Lake Nona is working with Pfizer Inc. to identify new therapeutic targets for preventing and treating complications of obesity and diabetes. The team will utilize novel screening tools including systems-biology approaches and technologies developed at the Institute with the aim of discovering new therapeutic strategies for reducing insulin resistance in obesity and diabetes.
Under the three-year agreement, multi-disciplinary teams from Sanford-Burnham and Pfizer will collaborate to identify and validate new targets for drug discovery. The collaboration combines Sanford-Burnham's expertise in fundamental disease biology and muscle metabolism with Pfizer’s expertise in drug discovery. Investigators will utilize the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics to screen for new relevant targets using investigational compounds from Pfizer as well as evaluate compounds previously identified from the NIH chemical library. Once the screening identifies compounds of interest, Sanford-Burnham and Pfizer scientists will collaborate to characterize and further study the “hit” compounds to understand their mechanism of action. These compounds will then be used as “probes” to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of diabetes.
Finding new medicines for diabetes
“Diabetes presents an enormous public health burden. There is an acute need to translate innovative science into potential new medicines for people living with this debilitating disease,” said Tim Rolph, Vice President and Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Research Unit at Pfizer. “Pfizer’s collaboration with Sanford-Burnham to use their cutting-edge screen designs is an example of our strategy to work with academic innovators to discover novel therapeutics for prevention and treatment of diabetes.”
Pfizer will have access to Sanford-Burnham’s team of world-class scientists and translational infrastructure dedicated to finding new approaches to targeting disease. Collaborating with researchers at a major pharmaceutical company will help us achieve our mission of translating high-impact science into new therapies. “This important collaboration focuses our tremendous scientific and translational firepower on a major medical problem– complications of obesity-related diabetes. Working with Pfizer, we can more quickly bridge the gap between basic and translational research,” said Stephen Gardell, senior director of scientific resources in the Diabetes and Obesity Research Center.
Date: August 14, 2013