DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SCIENCES AND PFIZER ESTABLISH STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
THE COLLABORATION AGREEMENT WILL GENERATE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN THE BIOMEDICINE AND NANOBIOMEDICINE AREAS.
April 21, 2017
The University of Talca generated a collaboration agreement with the biopharmaceutical laboratory Pfizer Chile to work in the next three years in research and development (R&D), relating to the field of biotechnology, bioengineering and medicine.
The dean of the Department of Health Sciences, Carlos Padilla, highlighted the contribution of this association which will be channeled through Pfizer’s Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine (CEMP).
"Thanks to this collaboration we can be a highly competitive University in the biomedical sciences, growing scientifically in disciplines that are important for our development, such as morphology and histology, among others. Therefore, this partnership will allow us to establish a virtuous circle around scientific research, finding the synergy to improve the health and quality of life of the population," he said.
Meanwhile, the director of Technology Transfer of the UTALCA, Patricia Klein, added that this alliance represents a valuable opportunity for researchers of our Corporation, who will be able to conduct clinical trials in a company with world prestige.
"Pfizer is an excellent ally for positioning products derived from research results at the University of Talca. Nursing studies, audiology, kinesiology, medicine, dentistry, medical technology, nutrition and dietetics and others will have the possibility to test technologies thanks to the support and collaboration of this company," she said.
The coordinator of the Marketing Unit of the Technology Transfer Office, Oscar Astudillo, highlighted the different areas of collaboration involved in this agreement.
"We will be able to carry out R&D projects, technical analysis of ongoing initiatives, contracting specific services, and request training for all health professionals, including those who work in departments, technological centers or institutes associated to the therapeutic areas defined by Pfizer (neuroscience, oncology, cardiovascular, endocrine and metabolic diseases, inflammation, immunology, pain, vaccines, rare and/or infrequent disease, and anti-infective)", he said.
In this context, the Marketing Unit of the project, through the Transfer and Licensing Consolidation Office, of Corfo, arranged interviews with the Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine to present the seven research studies being developed at the Department in the field of biomedical sciences.
Among them, Pfizer specialists drew their attention to the studies on the liver carried out for over a decade by the academic from the School of Medicine, Jessica Zúñiga.
The work performed by the professional was based on the findings made six years ago by the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard University. "They discovered some particles called resolvins, which are anti-inflammatory endogenous with analgesic effectiveness that prevent chronic pain. When working with that research team I wanted to test these molecules in livers. And the 2015 we discovered that these molecules have the ability to regenerate the hepatocyte, which is the cell proper to the liver," she explained.
"The results I presented to the Pfizer team aroused their interest and they want to carry out research at a subsidiary they have in Boston, where they work with metabolic diseases derived from syndromes such as diabetes and hypertension, among others. I'm surprised with this positive reception, as they want to export the results that we have to see how they can support us in the development of the second part of the research, that concerns the generation of the pharmacological study," said Zúñiga.
In this regard, Oscar Astudillo pointed out that, from the technology marketing point of view, this agreement seeks to generate future licensing agreements in joint research that may arise between the UTALCA and Pfizer. "But also to value the technological services that we have currently available, such as, for example, molecular simulation services that the Bioinformatics Center of the University has", he said.
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