Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation requests proposals for the advancement of RNA therapeutics

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 5:00pm

Pfizer is seeking proposals for the advancement of RNA therapeutics and the development of the next generation of RNA medicines.

Deadline to submit to [email protected]: April 6, 2022

Submissions invited for novel target concepts and therapeutic strategies amenable to RNA based approaches (mRNA, circular RNA, gene editing), in the following areas of interest:

  • Cellular reprogramming:
    • Cellular reprogramming in cancer (CRC, Lung, Breast, Prostate, Renal), metabolic, autoimmune disease or fibrosis (e.g. transcription factors).  Prioritized lineages include:
      • Myeloid cells (DC, macrophages, monocytes)
      • T cells (induction of Tregs); CAR-Tregs or Treg reprogramming; T cell exhaustion; tolerance 
      • Adipocytes, muscle cells, endothelial cells 
    • Tunable cytokine/interleukin expression for immune cell modulation in cancer 
    • Reprogramming of Myofibroblasts in liver and lung fibrosis
  • Cancer vaccines
  • Infectious Disease Vaccines
    • Protective cell mediated response to bacterial or viral infections
    • Emerging virus threats
    • Bacterial pathogens (e.g. Chlamydia trachomatis, Staphylococcus aureus)
  • Chronic or Rare Kidney Disease (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, IgA Nephropathy, Alport Syndrome, or Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease)
  • Rare Liver Diseases and Rare Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Repeat Expansion Diseases (e.g. Huntington’s disease, Friedreich’s ataxia, ALS, myotonic dystrophy)
  • Preference given to targets not amenable to small or large molecule intervention

Technologies and Enabling Infrastructure:

  • Gene correction/replacement
  • Epigenetic editing
  • Delivery technology, including tissue targeting for liver, lung, kidney, immune cell subsets, central nervous system, muscle
  • Non-viral delivery for RNA and gene editing
  • RNA engineering technologies (e.g. UTRs, IRES, circular RNA, chemical modifications, stability)
  • Regulatable gene expression
  • Next-gen gene editing

Out of Scope:

  • RNA vaccine strategies for Flu, COVID-19, RSV
  • Non-coding RNA targets and modalities

Submission process:

  • Develop a 2-3 page non-confidential document outlining the scientific background and research synopsis
  • Faculty interested in submitting a project should contact [email protected]Pre-proposals should be reviewed by one of Pfizer’s Emerging Science Leads to determine suitability prior to submission. Formal submission should be routed through Columbia Technology Ventures.
  • The deadline to submit pre-proposals to Columbia Technology Ventures is April 6, 2022.
  • Please see the Related Documents section of this page for additional information.