Pfizer partners with Flagship in obesity


United States

Pfizer Inc has entered into a partnership with a Cambridge, US, based venture capital group and its network of drug discovery and development companies, to identify proteins that might become the basis of new drugs for obesity. The venture capital group is Flagship Pioneering and the drug discovery activities are located at Pioneering Medicines, an in-house unit of Flagship, and Profound Therapeutics, a Flagship spin-off company. Pfizer has been collaborating with Pioneering Medicines since 2023. 

The new deal will expand this work, in particular, by enabling joint product development. The financial terms of the collaboration weren’t disclosed. Pfizer has an early stage glucagon-like-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, danuglipron, in development for obesity and type 2 diabetes. This is progressing in the clinic. However the company had to drop a second GLP-1 drug in 2023 following safety issues. 

The new partnership will give Pfizer access to protein discoveries made since 2003 which marked the finish of the Human Genome Project. Following this project, it was thought that only 2% of the three billion base pairs that make up DNA encode proteins. In subsequent years, scientists have discovered proteins with potential applications for therapeutics in the remaining 98%, according to Flagship.
Flagship Pioneering announced the new partnership on 12 June 2024
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