PHILADELPHIA, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Pfizer, Inc., are joining forces with the goal of translating biomedical discoveries into novel treatments. CHOP is announcing its participation in the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) network, a novel collaboration model built by Pfizer that brings academic researchers together with Pfizer scientists to expedite the pace of innovation. Children's Hospital is only the second pediatric center to join the CTI network, which has established partnerships with 21 academic medical centers throughout the United States, such as Rockefeller University, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the University of California, San Francisco. "We are excited to have this opportunity to accelerate the process of moving scientific insights toward therapies that healthcare providers can offer in the clinic," said Philip R. Johnson, M.D., chief scientific officer and senior vice president of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Johnson is one of CHOP's representatives on a joint steering committee with Pfizer representatives that will direct CTI's activities in Philadelphia. CTI will bring together scientists from Pfizer and Children's Hospital to identify preclinical research at CHOP with potential applications for innovative treatments. Pfizer will share with CHOP researchers an extensive collection of antibodies and other proteins, along with other proprietary research and drug-development tools. CHOP investigators will collaborate with Pfizer scientists at CTI laboratories in both Boston and New York City. The goal is to advance a project into a Phase 1 clinical trial. "This partnership will bring together the leading science at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with Pfizer's global capabilities," said Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Ph.D., senior vice president, Head of Biotherapeutics R&D at Pfizer. "Together, we increase the potential to bring novel medicines to patients." A March 15 Town Hall at CHOP introduced CTI to the Hospital's researchers, who are being encouraged to submit concise proposals by April 15 for projects to be considered. In July 2013, the steering committee will choose projects for funding. This expedited timetable is much faster than the typical schedule for federally sponsored research. In contrast to many partnerships between private industry and academia that focus on one highly defined end-product, CTI is designed to identify cutting-edge areas of research in areas of high unmet need that hold strong potential for therapeutic interventions.