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SVI announces collaboration with Pfizer

Posted: 22nd June 2021

St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research has entered into a new oncology-focused research collaboration with Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation.

This early-stage research collaboration aims to identify potential new small molecules that target the DNA damage response, which is common to most cancers. These small molecules may provide the basis for future cancer treatments that target specific vulnerabilities of cancers based on their genetics – treatments that could be more effective and less toxic than traditional chemotherapies.

Led by SVI’s Associate Professor Wayne Crismani, the project stems from many years of research undertaken by his DNA Repair and Recombination Laboratory and SVI’s Genome Stability Unit, led by Associate Professor Andrew Deans.

‘Our vision is to develop personalised cancer treatments by translating decades of fundamental knowledge from research on rare diseases and DNA repair pathways,’ said Associate Prof Crismani. ‘By exploiting the mechanisms that cause DNA damage – the very thing that starts cancer in the first place – our team hopes to be able to find new potential treatments. We are very excited to combine our knowledge with Pfizer’s drug discovery, research and translation expertise.’

‘We are very proud to announce this latest industry collaboration for SVI,’ said SVI Director Professor Tom Kay. ‘Uniting our scientists’ drive to understand fundamental mechanisms of human health with Pfizer’s leadership in oncology research has the potential to transform cancer treatment.’