ALR-CTI Partnership Profile
The partnership between CTI and the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) capitalizes on CTI’s open innovation model. Recognizing the possibility of leveraging the resources of both partners, we established the ALR-CTI partnership in November 2012.
As an initial step, we each appointed three members to a joint steering committee (JSC). The ALR selected world-renowned lupus researchers, one of whom also sees lupus patients in his medical practice. We selected three members from among CTI’s leadership, as well as leadership of Pfizer’s BioTherapeutics Research Group. We handle viable targets only until the clinical stage, at which time targets are transitioned to later-stage research units within Pfizer, so partnership within Pfizer is essential to a target’s future success.
As soon as the partnership was established, we reached out to the 24 institutions within our academic network to invite proposals showcasing promising lupus research. The ALR also contacted its network of outstanding researchers among these 24 institutions to spread word of the joint call for proposals. Together, the JSC first reviewed non-confidential pre-proposals then, for those chosen to move forward in the process, confidential full proposals. As a result of these focused efforts, four projects were selected.
To begin, principal investigators whose projects were chosen met with CTI project leaders to create a statement of work (SOW) and corresponding budget. Each SOW clearly specifies milestones during the target development process; if milestones are not met, projects face termination.
These four projects moved into the CTI research pipeline in September 2013 with funding provided jointly by the ALR and CTI. The JSC continues to play an oversight role, meeting every six months to ensure that projects are tracking according to their designated timelines.
Together, the ALR, with its rich experience in funding promising lupus research and its extensive network of lupus experts, and CTI/Pfizer, with its vast drug discovery and development resources, are working to develop potential new therapies for lupus patients.