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Pfizer joins partnership with Calif. firm

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Pfizer Inc. and California-based Crown Bioscience Inc. announced this week a collaboration agreement to research and develop therapies focused on Asian cancers.

Monetary details of the agreement were not released, but Crown will get an upfront payment, funding for research and milestone payments based on reaching clinical and preclinical goals.

"Specific treatments for Asian cancers represent an important unmet medical need as well as a significant market opportunity," Pfizer said in a statement.

New York-based Pfizer, whose largest R&D presence worldwide is in Groton and New London but whose cancer research is based in LaJolla, Calif., said it will collaborate with Crown to discover drug candidates. Work on the potential therapies will be performed at Crown's new research site near Shanghai, China.

"This new collaboration extends an already very successful partnership between Crown and Pfizer," said Alex Wu, chief executive of Crown, in a statement.

"We believe we can capitalize on the oncology expertise of Crown and enhance our ability to bring novel therapeutics to the marketplace that will benefit cancer patients in Asia," added Neil Gibson, chief oncology officer at Pfizer's site in LaJolla, in a statement.

l.howard@theday.com

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