Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Call for Pre-Proposals: Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) for Therapeutic Targets

April 23, 2018

Overview: Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) is a unique collaboration approach that partners with leading academic medical centers to rapidly translate novel target opportunities into potential new medicines. All researchers and clinicians whose work meets these criteria are invited to apply. Please submit non-confidential pre-proposals to by April 23rd, 2018.

CTI Collaborations Include:

  • Funding of project-related research 
  • Potential for financial awards in the form of milestone and royalty payments for successful programs
  • Dedicated hands-on partnering with Pfizer drug-development experts
  • Support by Pfizer's science and technology teams
  • Flexible publishing terms
  • Potential for involvement with CTI's Foundation alliance partners

Modalities Considered:

  • Large Molecules: antibodies, proteins, fusion proteins, antibody conjugates
  • Small Molecules: target classes include kinases, deubiquitinating enzymes, GPCRs, ion channels, solute transporters, and epigenetic targets

*IMPORTANT NOTE* Columbia is not a participant in the small molecules program but Pfizer is willing to explore opportunities to collaborate on exciting projects that are within their listed areas of interest

Pre-Proposal Submission Process:

  • Submission entails a non-confidential 2-3 page overview (template provided) of the target, mechanism, evidence for disease linkage, and the proposed therapeutic drug.  At a high level, the proposal should suggest how the therapeutic
  • All researchers and clinicians whose work meets these criteria are invited to apply. ]We strongly encourage you to discuss your ideas with Nader Halim (Register here) during his Columbia office hours. Non-confidential pre-proposals are to be submitted to by April 23, 2018. 

Therapeutic Areas of Interest for Spring 2018:

Oncology: Targets/Pathways that:

  • Enhance anti-tumor immune responses alone or in combination with Standard of Care
  • Enhance immune surveillance (e.g., tumor neoAg recognition)
  • Target unique aspects of tumor or TME metabolic activity '
  • Exploit vulnerabilities in tumor heterogeneity, senescence, plasticity - Promote or enable tumor selective/specific drug delivery or targeting  

Inflammation and Immunology: Targets/Pathways that:'

  • Regulate tissue-specific immune cell activation or function
  • Exploit immune cell or lineage specific metabolic pathways
  • Modulate inflammation and/or tissue remodelling and repair in the context of liver fibrosis (NAFLD/NASH) 
  • Promote gut epithelial barrier health and integrity  
  • Regulate antigen-specific tolerance induction and/or modulate T regulatory cells 

Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases: Targets/Pathways that:

  • Reverse hepatic steatosis associated with NAFLD/NASH
  • Inhibit lipolysis to treat NAFLD/NASH
  • Reverse cachexia experienced by patients with cancer or chronic diseases such as heart failure, chronic kidney disease and COPD 
  • Reverse muscle insulin resistance in patients with T2DM  
  • Improve heart failure by specifically correcting defects in cardiac metabolism 

Rare Diseases: Targets/Pathways that:

  • Represent novel targets for non-malignant hematologic indications (including sickle cell disease and complement mediated diseases)
  • Address skeletal and cardiac muscle diseases (including Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophies)
  • Treat repeat expansion diseases including Huntington’s disease, ALS/FTD and myotonic dystrophy

For More Information:

Please contact Nader Halim at or Columbia Technology Ventures at