CytoReason’s AI Earns Pfizer Extension Deal

The collaboration could be worth up to $110 million over the next five years.

Katie Hobbins, Managing Editor

September 20, 2022

2 Min Read
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Image courtesy of Kristoffer Tripplaar / Alamy Stock Photo

CytoReason, a technology company developing computational disease models, today announced the extension of its multi-year partnership with Pfizer to use its artificial intelligence (AI) technology for Pfizer’s drug development programs. CytoReason is a global leader in computational modeling of human diseases and uses its ability to combine computational models, proprietary human data, and the AI tools necessary to provide actionable insights to accelerate drug development. The company maintains a multidisciplinary team of 80 biologists, bioinformaticians, and data engineers who developed the platform which enables pharmaceutical and biotech companies to prioritize new targets, find biomarkers, and predict positive patient response. Pfizer totes a catalog of highly recognizable pharmaceutical products, including its COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with Bio-N-Tech, and its HR-positive, HER-2 negative breast cancer drug, palbociclib (Ibrance).

With the initial collaboration launching in 2019, Pfizer has since used CytoReasons biological models to enhance research in understanding the immune system as the company develops innovative drugs for immune-medicated and immune-oncology diseases. Due to the collaboration, Pfizer has reportedly gained multiple insights in research and development programs across over 20 diseases.

“We’re pleased to expand our strategic collaboration with CytoReason,” said Mikael Dolsten, Pfizer chief scientific officer and president. “We look forward to continuing our work with the company’s leading scientists, and to leveraging its cutting-edge platform. CytoReason’s biological data allows us to gain deeper insight into the best drug development pathways for patients, resulting in more informed decisions that are timely and cost-effective.”

Under the updated terms of the agreement, Pfizer will make a $20 million equity investment, have options to license CytoReason’s platform and disease models, and fund supplementary project support. Additionally, the deal is, according to CytoReason, potentially worth up to $110 million over the next five years.

The new research agreement and investment will support the ongoing development of additional disease models and the creation of high-resolution models spanning multiple therapeutic areas.

“Pfizer has been a strategic partner of CytoReason since 2019, and we are thrilled to scale our collaboration as one of Pfizer’s trusted AI partners for accelerating drug development,” said David Harel, co-founder and CEO of CytoReason. “This partnership is advancing a significant shift in the biotech industry, and helping drive future R&D for pharmaceutical companies as they continue to use machine learning to develop treatments more efficiently. Transforming complex data into useful actionable insights will potentially provide leading researchers and scientists a roadmap to further develop their drug portfolios.”

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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