A translational medicine collaboration opportunity for UQ researchers


Is your research in the area of oncology, inflammation, cardiovascular, neuroscience or rare monogeneic genetic diseases? Have you found an extracellular target that could modulate disease by a therapeutic antibody, protein or peptide? Are you seeking funding for translational research? If yes to each of these questions, then you should apply to the PfizerCTI-UQ Biotherapeutic Partnership. 
UQ clinicians and researchers working with validated drug targets that are tractable with biologic modalities such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides or proteins, and are interested in developing a novel therapeutic agent in partnership with pharma should apply.
The PfizerCTI-UQ Biotherapeutic Partnership was launched in March 2016 by Dr Tony Coyle, VP and CSO of Pfizer's CTI Program, who presented to UQ clinicians and researchers to open the first call for translational research proposals.  Following the success of the first year, we are now opening the first call for proposals in 2017.  
The application process starts with a brief (max. 3-4 pages) non-confidential Pre-Proposal emailed to pfizer@uniquest.com.au by Friday 21st April 2017.  There will be a another call for proposals later this year and two calls in 2018.



Therapeutic Areas of Interest - March 2017

  • Oncology: Immuno-oncology, targets that promote immune response, targets involved in oncogenic signaling and tumorigenesis, novel tumor-specific cell surface antigens or tumor targeting approach, tumor metabolism and epigenetics
  • Inflammation and Immune disorders: Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s Disease and colitis, NASH, atopic dermatitis, cytokines and their signaling pathways, regulatory cells and tolerance induction, microbiome with an interest in epithelial barrier
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases: Cardiovascular disease and heart failure, NAFLD/NASH, and obesity/eating disorders 
  • Neuroscience: Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic neuroinflammation mechanisms and mitochondrial biology impacting the pathologies of AD and PD, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and vascular impairment associated with neurodegeneration 
  • Rare monogenic genetic diseases: Hematologic (non-malignant), neuromuscular and pulmonary diseases, including PAH and cystic 



Large molecules: antibodies, antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, fusion proteins and peptides


Key Project Attributes

  • Strong project rationale: Demonstrated association between target biology and disease mechanism
  • Ability to address unmet medical needs
  • Link between target pathway and human disease
  • Feasibility: tractable target, discovery/development plan
  • ‚ÄčNovel target, novel therapeutic strategy or new insight into target patient population


The Process

We encourage interested UQ clinicians and researchers to submit a brief abstract describing their project to UniQuest and we can help assess suitability prior to Pre-Proposal submission. Non-confidential Pre-Proposals should then be submitted via email to Pfizer@uniquest.com.au by the Friday 21 April deadline.

Prior to submission to CTI, we will conduct a review of the Pre-Proposal to ensure that no confidential or proprietary information is included. CTI will make the decisions on which Pre-Proposals to advance to a full proposal stage. Invitations will then be sent to the UQ clinicians and researchers to submit confidential full proposals, to be developed together with one or more Pfizer CTI scientists. Funding decisions on full proposals will be made by the UQ/UniQuest-Pfizer Joint Steering Committee.

Funding decisions on full proposals will be made by the UQ/UniQuest-Pfizer Joint Steering Committee. UQ members of the JSC are Professor Darrell Crawford MD FRACP, Head of the School of Medicine, and Professor John Prins MBBS PhD FRACP FAHMS, Director of the Mater Research Institute-UQ.


Disease Foundation focus in March 2017

In this round, Pfizer is particularly looking for projects which can benefit from their strategic relationship with the disease foundations in the US who have targeted needs and interest in funding translational research. If it aligns with your research and application, please make specific note in your Pre-Proposal application. The disease foundations are:

  • Lupus Research Alliance
  • Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
  • Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Jeffrey Modell Foundation 


Further information

Below are links to documents that provide additional details:



If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact:

Dr Craig Belcher
Senior Director, Commercial Engagement – Health
E: c.belcher@uniquest.com.au


About CTI

The Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) is a pioneering research and development network initiated by pharma that uses an open innovation model to bring great ideas to fruition. Part of Pfizer, we are an entrepreneurial group that partners with leading global universities, academic medical centers and disease foundations with the aim of translating promising science into clinical candidates.

More information at: www.pfizercti.com



Guidelines for the CTI Program 
(PDF, 301KB)

Flyer Call for Proposals 
(PDF, 206KB)

Pre-Proposal Template 
(MS Word, 179KB)