LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A new collaboration with Pfizer Inc. will enable the University of Louisville’s Division of Infectious Diseases to play a significant role in epidemiological research related to vaccine-preventable diseases affecting adults, including the elderly.
UofL has been designated the first Center of Excellence by Pfizer Vaccines.
“UofL’s Division of Infectious Diseases has a rich history of collaboration with Pfizer through the successful implementation of numerous clinical epidemiological research studies. We are excited to formalize a long-term collaboration that builds on these past successes,” said Julio Ramirez, M.D., chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville.
The Center of Excellence, directed by Ramirez, is a collaboration between the university and the pharmaceutical corporation aimed at determining the human health burden of important infectious diseases and potential vaccine effectiveness. The data will provide robust evidence to national health officials and independent policy makers who develop recommendations for the use of vaccines in immunization programs worldwide. Studies will take place in hospitals, long-term care facilities and the community.
UofL is the first Center of Excellence selected by Pfizer Vaccines Medical Development and Scientific/Clinical Affairs to be part of an international network of epidemiological research organizations. This designation is for a period of three years with an option for renewal. Pfizer selected UofL because of the university’s exceptional capabilities for conducting population-based surveillance and clinical research that engages multiple health care facilities, health care personnel, industry and communities-at-large.
“Pfizer has had an outstanding working relationship with the University of Louisville for more than 10 years,” said Luis Jodar, Ph.D., chief medical and scientific affairs officer, Pfizer Vaccines. “The quality of disease burden evidence varies widely worldwide. Deriving accurate and credible population-based incidence estimates require comprehensive surveillance to identify cases of diseases within a well-defined and well-characterized geographic area. Thanks to UofL’s excellent network of research partners, the population available for research studies in Louisville can provide the data to derive estimates of disease burden that can be generalized nationally.”
The demographics of Jefferson County, Kentucky, are similar to the United States in general, including racial and ethnic make-up, socioeconomic status, and the proportion of rural and urban populations.
The research studies conducted as part of the center may lead to economic growth and development for the city of Louisville and the Kentuckiana region, including jobs and educational opportunities in the health care industry.
“This collaboration will provide increased visibility for the university on a global scale, making UofL attractive for high-caliber researchers and research grants,” said Neeli Bendapudi, Ph.D., president of UofL. ”It also presents an exceptional opportunity for our researchers to improve the human condition by helping to reduce the burden of infectious diseases worldwide by generating data that will inform governments and health care policymakers.”
Pfizer studies anticipated for UofL include population-based surveillance of infectious diseases including Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria which causes pneumonia and other infections, Clostridioides difficile, a bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and colitis, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus associated with mild cold-like symptoms but can cause severe infection in some people, including older adults. Visit CERIDLouisville.org/research for additional information on these diseases and two Center of Excellence studies already underway at UofL:
- The City of Louisville Diarrhea (CLOUD) study launched in September 2019. Pfizer will be providing up to $6.5 million in funding for a one-year study of the incidence of diarrhea among Louisville-area residents.
- The Louisville Pneumonia study is up to $4.5 million in funding provided by Pfizer for a one-year study of the incidence of pneumonia among adults in Louisville that launched in November 2019.
About University of Louisville
Founded in 1798, the University of Louisville is a public research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. The university serves more than 22,000 students each year through undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in 12 colleges and schools. The university has been recognized and honored for efforts in research, community engagement initiatives and commitment to diversity. UofL is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference for both academics and athletics.
At the UofL School of Medicine, more than 600 medical students, 270 graduate students, and 650 resident physicians train annually. Approximately 900 faculty members teach, conduct research and provide patient care throughout the city and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
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PFIZER DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as of January 23, 2020. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about the launch of Pfizer Vaccines Division’s Centers of Excellence Network, a global program of collaborations with academic institutions to conduct real-world epidemiologic research, including its potential benefits, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, uncertainties regarding the potential benefits of the Centers of Excellence Network; the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for our clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable new clinical data and further analyses of existing clinical data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments by regulatory authorities; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from our clinical studies; whether and when applications for any potential vaccine candidates may be filed in any jurisdictions; whether and when regulatory authorities in any jurisdictions may approve any such applications, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the product’s benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the product’s efficacy and, if approved, whether any such potential vaccine candidates will be commercially successful; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any such drug candidates; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results,” as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.