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Pfizer to fund UB research on drugs Pharmacy School may get up to $7.5 million

The world's largest drug company will provide the University at Buffalo with up to $7.5 million for pharmaceutical research over the next five years.

UB announced Thursday that Pfizer will provide the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences $1.5 million a year for three years, with an option to renew the alliance for two more years.

Pfizer's funding will go toward hiring two new faculty members, providing equipment and adding post-doctoral trainees and graduate students to support the school's research in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, said Wayne K. Anderson, dean of the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Pharmacokinetics is the study of how drugs are distributed and eliminated by the body, while pharmacodynamics examines the body's response to drugs. More science, and scientists, are needed in this field to help develop safe, effective drugs more quickly, Anderson said. "This is a very, very critical field in the development of drugs," he said during a morning news conference on the North Campus in Amherst.

"We're considered a relatively small department, and the new alliance will allow us to expand in numbers of faculty members and trainees," said William J. Jusko, chairman of the school's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a pioneer in the fields of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Liam Ratcliffe, senior vice president of Pfizer Global Research and Development, called UB a "leading school in the world" in this field of study. Only three other academic institutions in the world have similar partnerships with Pfizer in this particular field, Ratcliffe said.

"We chose to work with [UB] not by chance," Ratcliffe said. "We chose to work with you because of your history."

e-mail: jrey@buffnews.com

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