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PFIZER IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE THE INFLAMMATION ASPIRE 2018 RESEARCH AWARDS, A COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAMME SUPPORTED BY PFIZER FOR INVESTIGATORS IN WIDER EUROPE, ISRAEL, TURKEY, RUSSIA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA

Mission

Pfizer is committed to research in the Inflammation area and supports medical innovation through this Competitive Investigator Research Awards Programme.


The Pfizer Inflammation ASPIRE programme is designed to advance clinical and scientific research and generate data that will help inform clinical practice and treatment decisions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ulcerative colitis (UC).


We are proud to announce that ASPIRE 2018 will be a special programme with increased funding available for all three therapy areas. This opportunity will allow investigators to conduct clinically relevant investigations, providing an enhanced understanding of the disease area with potential benefits translated into clinical management.


The mission of the Inflammation ASPIRE 2018 Research Awards is to support clinical research in RA and UC, as well as translational and clinical research in PsA through a competitive grants programme that advances medical knowledge in understanding the role of the Janus Kinase (JAK)–Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) pathways in Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases (IMID). Of particular interest is the effect of targeted inhibition of the JAK–STAT pathways as related to specific clinical effects examining either efficacy and/or safety outcomes and the role of the JAK–STAT pathways in PsA.


Advances in science and medicine should translate into tangible clinical benefit in the short and long term. With this in mind, proposals should aim to describe the clinical value, the proposed research and its outcomes will add to patients’ lives. Innovative patient approaches in research design and/or research leading to tangible positive outcomes for patients will be prioritised.


An independent committee of European medical experts in the field of Inflammation will review the research proposals and select the grant recipients.


This programme provides research grants for studies designed and conducted by non-Pfizer physicians and scientists.


Background

Intracellular signalling pathways play a critical role in the pathogenesis of IMIDs, such as RA, PsA or UC. One of these pathways is the JAK–STAT pathway. Basic and clinical research has demonstrated that inhibition of the JAK–STAT pathway results in the reduction of inflammation and may therefore be a potential strategy to reduce the signs and symptoms of several IMID. However, many questions remain with respect to the role that JAK–STAT pathways play in inflammation. Furthermore, increased understanding of exactly how (specific) inhibition of JAK-STAT pathways may cause a certain clinical effect with respect to efficacy and safety outcomes in IMID is needed.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Pfizer invites investigators to apply for the Inflammation ASPIRE 2018 Research Awards through submission of research proposals with the primary objective to increase understanding of the effect of inhibition of the JAK–STAT pathway on specific clinical effects - looking at either efficacy and/or safety outcomes in RA, UC or PsA, as well as the role of the JAK–STAT pathways in inflammation.

UPDATED AREAS OF FOCUS FOR THE 2018 ASPIRE AWARDS

The programme focuses on clinical research in RA and UC, and translational and clinical research in PsA, and may include, but is not limited to the following topics:

Rheumatology


  1. Treatment Optimisation in Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Treatment strategies in RA patients in sustained remission whilst on JAK inhibitor treatment
    • Optimisation of management of RA patients, treated with JAK inhibitors, such as, but not limited to, monotherapy, concomitant treatment tapering or withdrawal (glucocorticoids, csDMARDs)
    • Management of JAK inhibitor treatment in patients with co-morbidities, such as (but not limited to) infections (herpes zoster [HZ], other), interstitial lung disease
            –    HZ immunisation prior to JAK inhibitor treatment
    • Impact of JAK inhibitor treatment on pain (CNS/peripheral)
    • Assessment of adherence and compliance in patients treated with JAK inhibitors

  2. Role of JAK pathway in Psoriatic Arthritis & Impact of JAK Inhibition on a Broad Range of Clinical Outcomes
    • The role of JAK pathway in the pathophysiology and immunology of PsA
    • The role of JAK–STAT inhibition with respect to pain and fatigue
    • Effect of JAK–STAT inhibition on dactylitis and/or enthesitis
    • Mechanistic understanding of JAK-STAT signalling on structural progression
    • Effect of JAK-STAT inhibition in monotherapy

Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Enhancing the Understanding of the Clinical Profile of JAK Inhibitors in the Treatment of UC Patients*

  • Management of the risk of HZ with vaccination in UC patients treated with JAK inhibitors
  • Evaluation of lipid elevations with JAK inhibitors in UC patients, including the MOA of such potential effects
  • Effect of JAK inhibitors on extra-intestinal manifestations in UC patients
  • Effects of JAK inhibitors on hospitalisation and surgery rate, their respective causes and post -surgery complications
  • Evaluation of risk for adenoma/dysplasia/colon cancer rate of patients treated with JAK inhibitors

*Strong preference will be given to studies that utilise the ECCO UR-CARE platform for capturing IBD patients' records.

RESEARCH EXPECTATION

Within the proposed topics, investigators are expected to generate clinical data on treatment optimisation with JAK inhibitors in RA, UC and PsA. Investigators are also expected to generate in-vitro data with the primary objective of further understanding the role of the JAK–STAT pathways in PsA. Project duration should not exceed three years.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

External Independent Review Committee

The ASPIRE applications will be reviewed by an external independent review committee comprised of medical and scientific experts. Grants will be awarded based upon:

  • Scientific merit of the research proposal
  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Relevance of proposed research to the programme's mission
  • Evidence of the applicant's commitment to an academic research career
  • Evidence of a suitable research environment

AVAILABLE AWARDS

Pfizer is funding awards up to €1.5-2.0 million for exceptional proposals in multicentre, multinational clinical studies in RA. All other awards in RA will vary depending on the research question. Funding in PsA and UC will also depend on the research question, with maximum awards of up to €200,000 for clinical proposals and up to €80,000 for translational research in PsA. It is expected that the results will be presented at scientific meetings and published in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Application submission start: January 15th 2018
  • Application deadline: March 23rd 2018
  • Award announcement: July 2018

 

PP-XEL-EUR-0968
Date of preparation: December 2017