The Scripps Research Institute has landed a deal with global drugmaker Pfizer Inc. in which Pfizer will use TSRI’s technology to find promising chemical leads for new drugs.

The research collaboration and license agreement involves developing new DNA-encoded libraries, known as DELs. Under terms of the deal, TSRI chemists and Pfizer scientists will work together to develop DEL screening techniques that use DNA-based markers, called “barcodes,” to survey billions of small molecules. Conventional drug screening methods evaluate a few million small molecules. The significant boost in molecules screened will potentially increase the ability of researchers to find promising chemical leads

"We hope that this new collaboration will contribute to the creation of novel chemistries that can be used by Pfizer to prepare unique libraries for screening which, together with our parallel medicinal chemistry expertise, will have the potential to help us accelerate the discovery of new medicines for patients," Tony Wood, senior vice president and head of medicinal sciences at Pfizer, said in a statement.

Pfizer is known for marketing drugs like Advil painkillers, Viagra for male sexual dysfunction, and Lipitor, which lowers blood cholesterol.

Pfizer will pay TSRI a technology access fee for the chemical synthesis technology, but financial details were not disclosed.

TSRI and Pfizer might expand the scope of the joint research to include other technologies relevant for enabling DEL-based drug discovery.