Pfizer is setting up a new Gene Therapy Unit to focus on rare diseases, it has announced

The new Unit will be headed by Professor Michael Linden of King’s College London.

The announcement forms part of a strategic expansion of Pfizer’s rare disease research, which also sees an agreement with the US biotechnology company Spark Therapeutics to develop a treatment for haemophilia.

Kevin Lee, senior vice-president and chief scientific officer of Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit, said:

“The establishment of a gene therapy group under the leadership of Professor Linden will help Pfizer explore the potential of this important technology that could possibly benefit patients living with serious diseases. Professor Linden brings to Pfizer his extensive expertise in AAV technology obtained from over 20 years working in the field.”

Welcoming the announcement, Dr Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, said:

“Gene therapy is on the brink of transforming medical science and the UK is at the forefront of research, development and commercialisation in this field. The aim is to get the benefits of gene therapy research to patients as speedily as possible. Partnerships between universities, healthcare providers and industry are the cornerstone of innovation, and I know that Pfizer is excited by the critical mass of world-leading expertise that London and the wider region is home to. I’m delighted that Pfizer is deepening its roots in London with this new partnership.”​

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