Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Pfizer to invest $600m in biotechnology and other growth companies

PBR Staff Writer Published 07 June 2018

Pfizer said that it will invest $600m in biotechnology and other emerging growth firms through its venture capital arm Pfizer Ventures for the development of life-changing therapies to patients in need.

The US pharma giant will allocate nearly a quarter of this investment, about $150m on neuroscience.

The company will also invest on other therapeutic areas of interest like oncology, rare disease, inflammation and immunology, internal medicine and vaccines. 

Pfizer said that it may consider investing in companies developing technologies that can potentially transform drug discovery, development and manufacturing.

For neuroscience, the pharma major will invest in promising early-stage neuroscience companies. Pfizer will look at providing support to a wide range of early neuroscience research and product development opportunities through equity investment model.

Pfizer worldwide research and development vice president and Pfizer Ventures managing partner Denis Patrick said: “By changing the way we invest in neuroscience, we hope to support an energized community of biotech entrepreneurs who are progressing the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neurologic diseases and help advance potential treatments for people with neurological conditions.”

Pfizer Ventures will initially look to invest in the fields of neuro-degeneration, neuro-inflammation and neuro-metabolic disorders, and also on other areas where rapidly progressing science could help in offering breakthroughs for patients.

The current portfolio company investments of Pfizer Ventures include six breakthrough neuroscience firms - Aquinnah, Autifony, Cortexyme, MindImmune, MISSION, and Neuronetics.

Additionally, in 2015, Pfizer said that it had played a key role in creating, funding and launching the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), a specialist venture capital fund focused on investing in novel science to develop new medications for dementia.

With the latest funding from its parent, Pfizer Ventures has taken its total assets under management in excess of $1bn. The venture capital arm, which was founded in 2004, has an investment portfolio of over 40 companies which includes the recently added Adapsyn Bioscience, Complexa, Cydan II, DIR Technologies, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Jnana Therapeutics, and Strata Oncology.

Image: Pfizer World Headquarters in Manhattan, New York pictured in 2016. Photo: courtesy of Coolcaesar/Wikipedia.org.