The computational disease model developer CytoReason has announced that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) that is potentially worth $110 million over the next five years.
In the recent partnership, Pfizer will make a $20 million equity investment in CytoReason. The company will also obtain options to license platform and disease models from Tel Aviv–based CytoReason.
The new collaboration will center around Pfizer’s focus on developing a variety of disease models and high-resolution models for several therapeutic areas.
The two companies began working together in 2019.
Pfizer has used CytoReason’s biological models of the immune system for drug development efforts related to immune-mediated and immuno-oncology diseases.
CytoReason reports that Pfizer has used its platform for R&D programs related to more than 20 diseases.
“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,” said Mikael Dolsten, chief scientific officer and president at Pfizer, in a news release.
“At Cytoreason, we are basically building a simulator of the human body,” said David Harel, CEO and co-founder of CytoReason, in an interview with Drug Discovery & Development earlier this year. “We model every tissue and every disease. The models are accurate enough that they can be used to predict the response of drugs whether the drug is on the market or it’s still in development.”
The company has stated that its AI-based technology can help drug developers reduce their reliance on animal models. “One of the reasons that Cytoreason is focusing initially on the immune system — including immunology, immune-mediated disease and autoimmune diseases — is because the immune system is substantially different between a human and a mouse,” Harel said.
Cytoreason has also forged partnerships with Big Pharma companies such as Roche and Sanofi. The company notes that five of the largest pharmaceutical companies use its technology.