Pfizer Provides Early Funding for Stem-Cell Biotech (2008-06-23)
by Associated Press
Pfizer Inc. said Monday it will provide $3 million in early-stage funding to a small stem-cell research and development company specializing in ophthalmic diseases.
The world's largest drug maker said the financing will fund EyeCyte Inc. through 2010. The company's primary focus is on diabetic retinopathy, a complication from diabetes that can cause poor eyesight and blindness.
Pfizer gets the right of first refusal for a buyout of EyeCyte or its technologies.
EyeCyte's research could be used for other eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, a condition where abnormal blood vessels grow in front of the retina, obscuring vision.
Pfizer currently has a candidate in midstage development for macular degeneration and macular edema, a condition where fluid leaks into a part of the eye, causing swelling and blurring vision.
Share of Pfizer fell 1 cent to $17.32 in midday trading.