Toronto, ON – Functional genomics research company ChondroGene says it has entered into a new two-year research collaboration with Pfizer for identifying novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for the treatment and diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA). The collaboration will continue the work in two research programs that were initiated in an existing collaboration with Pfizer that started in October 2002.
The collaboration provides Pfizer with access to ChondroGene’s database of osteoarthritis tissue-specific clinical and gene expression information to identify potential novel therapeutic targets for OA. The agreement with Pfizer will also allow ChondroGene to accelerate its ongoing OA biomarker research program. Development of new biomarkers is essential for the early diagnosis of OA as well as for validating the effectiveness of potential disease-modifying therapies for OA. The two-year collaboration is valued at up to US$7.35 million, compared to US$4.7 million for the initial collaboration.
“We are pleased with the progress made in our initial collaboration and look forward to continuing our relationship with Pfizer in this second agreement,” says Dr K Wayne Marshall, ChondroGene’s president and CEO. “We are fortunate to have the world’s largest pharmaceutical company as a partner and are excited to be working together to develop novel biomarkers for osteoarthritis, an epidemic disease that places a crippling burden on patients, their families and healthcare resources.”