Pfizer is the latest pharma giant to join Cambridge-based Milner Therapeutics Consortium, a global therapeutic alliance that aims to enable the transfer of materials between industry and academia.

The Consortium is essentially a 'match-making' service between pharmaceutical companies and researchers at Cambridge University, providing access to novel therapeutic agents across the entire portfolio of drugs being developed by each member firm.

Each industry partner has set aside funds for collaborative research projects between the Consortium members, which will be open to any therapeutic area and are expected to lead to joint publications.

Dr Ron Newbold, vice president of External R&D Innovation at Pfizer, will join the Milner Innovation Board alongside representatives from Astex, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Shionogi, MedImmune, University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute and Sanger Institute.

"We are pleased to be able to join the Milner Therapeutics Consortium and look forward to a deeper engagement in the Cambridge ecosystem," he said, commenting on the move. "The UK has a very strong academic and biotech community, and we anticipate working with many world-class scientists that will be supported and inspired by the work of the Milner Institute in the coming years."

"We are delighted that Pfizer has joined the Consortium to develop mutually-beneficial collaborations with Cambridge academics and the Milner Therapeutics Institute," noted Prof Tony Kouzarides, founder and director of the Institute. "We are focussed on working with Pfizer to advance disease understanding and make a difference to therapies in the clinic."