MONTREAL, Oct. 2, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Institute for Research in
Immunology and Cancer - Commercialization of Research (IRICoR) and its
host institution, the Université de Montréal (UdM) today announced the
licensing to Pfizer Inc. of a novel early-onset morbid obesity
pre-clinical program developed at the Institute for Research in
Immunology and Cancer (IRIC).
Under the terms of the global license, Pfizer will fund pre-clinical
research activities at IRIC and will be fully responsible for the
clinical development and marketing of any resulting products. Pfizer
will make an upfront payment to IRICoR, and IRICoR will be eligible to
receive development and commercial milestone payments, as well as a
tiered royalty on any product sales.
In certain people, genetic defects in the cellular trafficking of the
melanocortin receptor type 4 (MC4R) lead to an early-onset morbid
obesity, resulting in multiple life-threatening problems, for example,
an increased risk of cancer.
Dr. Michel Bouvier, world-renowned expert in the field of G-protein
coupled receptor signaling, has developed a new therapeutic approach to
this disease based on small molecule called "pharmacological
chaperones" that selectively bind to MC4R and correct its folding,
trafficking and function. Cell-based assays and pre-clinical studies
using a new proprietary animal model for MC4R-promoted obesity indicate
that this is a potentially promising approach for treating familial
early-onset morbid obesity resulting from MC4R mutations.
"We are very pleased to partner with Pfizer for the development of this
promising scientific breakthrough," commented Johane Boucher-Champagne,
Chairperson of IRICoR's Board of Directors. "The ability of IRICoR to
identify and incubate innovative projects which appeal to industry
leaders such as Pfizer further validates our business model of forging
collaborations between academia and industry for drug discovery and
development. We look forward to working closely with Pfizer to
potentially develop new treatment options for this indication."
"Dr. Bouvier's team brings leading expertise in GPCR pharmacological
chaperones that will enrich Pfizer's already strong chaperone program
targeting genetic diseases characterized by protein misfolding. The
collaboration is designed to combine our capabilities and resources
with the goal of expediting potential new therapies for early-onset
morbid obesity patients with MCR4 mutations" said Kevin Lee, Chief
Scientific Officer, Pfizer's Rare Disease Research Unit.
About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer -
Commercialization of Research (IRICoR)
About Université de Montréal (UdeM)
About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC)
SOURCE: Université de Montréal
For further information:
Steven J. Klein, Ph.D., MBA
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer - Commercialization of Research (IRICoR)
Telephone: 514 343-6647
Gilles Noël, Ph.D.
Director, Research and Technology Transfer
Université de Montréal (UdeM)