Washington U researchers will take second look at Pfizer's molecules

In a fresh sign of Pfizer's interest in tapping some expert development help outside the company, the pharma giant has committed $22.5 million to a five-year pact with the medical school at Washington University in St. Louis that will lay out 500 of its molecules for a close second look.

In the deal, researchers at Washington University will get a chance to look at possible new indications for approved molecules or therapies now in development. It will also hand over molecules that have failed in clinical trials to see if the university researchers can find a promising application that Pfizer may have overlooked.

"What we are looking for is the intersection of their academic interest and disease knowledge with a mechanism we have a compound for," said Don Frail, chief scientific officer at Pfizer's Indications Discovery Unit. To help facilitate the work, Pfizer is moving its Indications Discovery Unit lab from the St. Louis suburbs to a biotech corridor near Washington University.

- here's Pfizer's press release
- here's the report from the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)