As part of the VDP-54 governance process, we have requested that each strategic contributor provide a memo outlining their interest in VitaDAO and how they see their participation both financial and otherwise.
Below please find the submission from Pfizer Ventures.
Who are you? What is the size of your proposed capital contribution?
Michael Baran, Ph.D., MBA (Executive Director and Partner, Pfizer Ventures) & Linda Lohr, Ph.D. (Senior Director, Head of Early-Stage External Scientific Networks) representing Pfizer Inc., proposing to contribute $500,000 USD to VitaDAO and participate in governance of VitaDAO using $VITA tokens.
Michael and Linda collectively have decades of scientific expertise spanning multiple therapeutic areas related to longevity. They have a long-standing track record of successfully translating emerging science into market ready products, and they each embrace the entrepreneurial spirit, having personally launched biotech newco’s and startups in other industries.
Please describe for us, your view of the longevity and healthspan field, and how you perceive VitaDAO’s role in it.
The field of longevity is currently at a pivotal moment in history, with advances in novel scientific discovery, increasing patient need, and dynamic business opportunities growing at an unprecedented rate. Combining these factors creates enormous opportunity to significantly increase human health and quality of life by supporting the most promising advances of scientific research across Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Oncology, I-O, Cardiomyopathy, and a host of other age-related diseases.
We see VitaDAO pioneering a potentially transformative model for executing science and view this relationship as a mutually beneficial opportunity to synergize with efforts toward democratizing longevity scientific development and ultimately bringing medicines to patients. Additionally, the Decentralized Science (DeSci) movement also represents a nascent opportunity to transform the traditional business of science via the convergence of cutting-edge science, business, law, and tech.
Why does your organization have an interest in this field? How does your organization see itself participating to advance the field?
Pfizer is interested in developing therapeutics and enabling platform technologies related to human longevity. Many of the associated underlying mechanisms—both of longevity and of healthy aging—are aligned with Pfizer’s current prioritized research areas of focus, including Oncology (senescence), I&I (inflammation and immunology including fibrosis), Rare Neuromuscular diseases (autophagy), Internal Medicine (cardiomyopathy), and more. Pfizer has an industry-leading track record of successfully developing emerging science in these areas into marketable assets that address unmet patient needs. Many of Pfizer’s successes have been built upon fruitful early-stage collaborations with academic PIs and subject matter expert entrepreneurs.
What is your interest in VitaDAO? How do we fit into your operational thesis?
Pfizer’s R&D strategy consists of a mixture of internal and external R&D. On the external side we actively collaborate with academic, biotech, and pharma partners to identify and advance intellectual property which can mature to therapeutics and/or to facilitate therapeutic discovery. VitaDAO is aligned with our interests in the early stage of the drug development life cycle to identify emerging science. We are highly intrigued by the scientific reach of VitaDAO and the democratized governance enabled by the DAO approach. Funding early-stage IP development is a phase of drug development that is historically under-funded by government grants, VC investments, and other traditional funding vehicles. Pfizer is enthused to explore alternative funding mechanisms to support this important space. VitaDAO’s ability to attract scientific talent from academia, biotech, and the investor community is also a highly attractive avenue for Pfizer to enhance its engagement in longevity and healthspan research.
How do you plan to support VitaDAO, beyond your capital contribution?
Identify how you will contribute to one or more of:
Access to dealflow
YES – Pfizer receives inbound requests and actively searches for partnerships daily from leading scientists around the globe. As part of the VitaDAO community, we would aim to share appropriate opportunities with VitaDAO.
Ability to support incubation and commercialization efforts of the intellectual property (IP)
YES – Pfizer has deep expertise in scientific advancement, safety, regulatory, clinical, and other arenas across the complete drug development spectrum. In addition, Pfizer is uniquely positioned to support commercialization efforts of IP through its collection of partnering and funding vehicles. (e.g., research collaborations, venture style investment, licensing, etc.)
Ability to raise awareness for our mission and grow our community
YES – Pfizer aims to raise awareness of this emerging area of DeSci not only in the scientific community but also amongst investors. Pfizer’s extensive network of external experts and investors reaches every major biotech region of the world.
Explain how you plan to participate in VitaDAO. Will you participate in governance (token-based voting)? Do you plan to allocate resources to working inside our working groups? Do you have your own initiatives that you feel would bring value to VitaDAO?
We see our involvement with VitaDAO as both a stakeholder and potential acquirer of future IP.
Pfizer plans to participate in VitaDAO through multiple avenues, including, for example: providing incoming dealflow, making scientific expertise available, and providing funding for incubation and commercialization.
Regarding involvement in the VitaDAO community—Mike Baran and Linda Lohr, along with selected longevity scientific subject matter experts within Pfizer, will participate in the scientific working group helping with diligence. Where appropriate, we also aim to bring promising dealflow to VitaDAO via Pfizer’s extensive external network. This includes potentially catalyzing interactions with tech transfer offices around the globe. We may also potentially bring dealflow forward from Pfizer’s internal research teams.
Regarding involvement as a potential acquirer of VitaDAO IP—Pfizer would be looking to evaluate and potentially license IP generated by VitaDAO. There is also potential to work with Pfizer Ventures to syndicate newco formation around IP that is ready to leverage traditional venture capital.