Pfizer Launches First Annual PCSK9 Competitive Grants Program to Advance Cardiovascular Disease Research

April 9, 2015

This competitive grants program is part of Pfizer's ongoing commitment to translate scientific discoveries into innovative medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc. today announced the launch of a new competitive grants program the company is funding to support research projects investigating the role of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin Kexin type 9 (PCSK9) in health and cardiovascular disease. This competitive grants program, which is an extension of the Advancing Science through Pfizer Investigator Research Exchange (ASPIRE) Cardiovascular program, is part of Pfizer's ongoing commitment to translate scientific discoveries into innovative medicines for patients with cardiovascular disease. Pfizer currently is studying bococizumab, an investigational PCSK9 inhibitor, in a Phase 3 clinical trial program, known as SPIRE (Studies of PCSK9 Inhibition and the Reduction of vascular Events), for its potential to lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and improve cardiovascular outcomes.

Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide, remains a global, public health issue despite many advances in treatment. The first annual ASPIRE Cardiovascular competitive grants program will fund multiple grants of up to $100,000 each to support research designed to uncover new insights about the role of the PCSK9 protein/gene in health and disease.

"One of the most exciting new areas for scientific exploration in cardiovascular disease is focused on PCSK9,” stated Professor John Chapman, director emeritus of the Dyslipidemia and Atherosclerosis Research Unit of the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) at the Pitié-Salpétrière University Hospital in Paris, France. "It is our earnest desire that the research projects selected will advance the current understanding of PCSK9 biology and in this way, contribute significantly to the next generation of potential therapies targeted to cardiovascular diseases."

"Our development of the ASPIRE Cardiovascular competitive grants program aligns with a key area of focus for Pfizer: advancing the science, finding and developing new medicines that will treat - and ultimately may prevent - cardiovascular disease," said Rory O’Connor, senior vice president, Global Medical Affairs, Global Innovative Pharmaceuticals Business, Pfizer Inc.

Grantees will be selected through a competitive application process overseen by an independent Review Committee of leading experts. The Committee will be chaired by Professor Chapman.

The Review Committee encourages investigators (with a special interest for emerging researchers at Assistant Professor level or equivalent) to submit applications for innovative research in several areas. Highlights of the research of interest include:

  • Pathophysiology of non-diabetic or diabetic dyslipidemia and atherosclerotic vascular disease
  • Lipoprotein particles, cellular lipoprotein receptors, and lipid homeostasis
  • Role of PCSK9 in lipoprotein (a) metabolism
  • Vascular biology
  • Pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases other than atherosclerosis
  • Non-lipid/lipoprotein effects of PCSK9
  • PCSK9 and the immune system
  • PCSK9 and infectious disease
  • Identifying the unmet needs and/or residual risk in high risk secondary/primary prevention patients that may be addressed by PCSK9 inhibitors

Eligible research projects for this program include: basic/pre-clinical/clinical science and outcomes/epidemiological research to understand unmet needs and/or residual risk in high risk secondary/primary prevention patients that may be addressed by PCSK9 inhibitors.