In another sign of the growing clout nonprofits have in the drug research field, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is stepping up with a $58 million commitment to back Pfizer's ($PFE) work on a new therapy aimed at the most common target of the lethal lung disease.
Building on its longstanding pact with FoldRx, which Pfizer snapped up back in 2010 as it beefed up its work on rare diseases, the CFF is funding preclinical research work on new drugs that could help people with the Delta F508 mutation. As the CFF notes, a defective protein called CFTR misfolds, preventing it from reaching the cell surface to help regulate salt and fluids in the airways. That triggers thick secretions which cause lung infections and lung damage. Nearly 90% of people with CF have at least one copy of the Delta F508 mutation.
"We are excited to expand our efforts with Pfizer to accelerate the development of more therapies that treat the root cause of CF and benefit the greatest number of people with the disease," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation. "Pfizer brings impressive technical and scientific expertise, along with its commitment to improving the lives of people with cystic fibrosis."
"Innovative collaborations between industry and patient organizations are increasingly critical in expediting the translation of science into new treatments," added Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, senior vice president of Pfizer BioTherapeutics R&D.
- here's the press release