Columbia University

Technology Ventures

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

October 13, 2017

Overview: Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, or CTI, is a unique program that collaborates with leading academic medical centers, the NIH, and foundations to speed the translation of novel targets to the clinic. All researchers and clinicians whose work meets these criteria are invited to apply. Please submit non-confidential pre-proposals to your Technology Transfer Office by October 13, 2017.  

Advantages to Collaborating with CTI: A partnership with CTI may include collaborative use of Pfizer’s technologies, publishing rights, and financial awards in the form of milestone and royalty payments for successful programs, in addition to providing appropriate funds for carrying out the collaborative work.  
Foundations collaborating with CTI:
  • Lupus Research Alliance
  • Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation  
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Jeffrey Modell Foundation 

Pre-proposal Submission Process: Submission entails a non-confidential 2-3 page overview of the target, mechanism, evidence for disease linkage, and the proposed therapeutic drug. At a high level, the pre-proposal should suggest how the therapeutic hypothesis could be tested in the clinic. For Information Please contact Nader Halim at  and Maria Rahmany at 

Modalities Sought:
  • Large Molecules: antibodies, proteins, fusion proteins, antibody conjugates  
  • Note: RNAi, CRISPR technologies and nanoparticles are not in scope for the current CTI call for proposals 
Therapeutic Areas of Interest for Fall 2017:
  • Oncology: Targets/Pathways that promote anti-tumor immune responses alone or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors; provide innate anti-tumor immune system activation; reduce or overcome tumor-induced immune suppression; or alter tumor microenvironment metabolism. Targets that promote directed tumor cell killing. Targets that address stromal heterogeneity, senescence, tumor plasticity, translational stress or protein stability. Novel cell-surface targets that enable mAb therapy.  
  • Inflammation and Immunology: Targets/Pathways that provide immune regulation but do not involve broad-based immunosuppression including Adaptive and Innate immunity, Th17 lymphocyte biology, Regulatory cells and Tolerance induction,  or Immune metabolism with a focus on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, NASH, Atopic Dermatitis, Alopecia, Vitiligo. Host-microbial interactions and microbiome are of interest with focus on epithelial barrier  
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases: Targets/Pathways that decrease hepatic lipid content, inflammation and the development of liver fibrosis in NASH/NAFLD. Novel approaches that reduce hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia   Neuroscience: Primary focus on Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Targets/Pathways with disease modifying and symptomatic potential. Chronic neuroinflammation mechanisms impacting the pathologies of AD and PD.  
  • Rare diseases: Targets/Pathways representing novel therapeutic interventions for Hematologic (non-malignant) indications, including Haemophilia, sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia; for skeletal and cardiac muscle diseases including Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophies; or for repeat expansion diseases including Huntington’s disease, ALS/FTD and myotonic dystrophy. 
Pre-Proposal Deadline: October 13, 2017 
CTI’s foundation partners include:
  • Alliance for Lupus Research
  • Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
  • Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Jeffrey Modell Foundation