The company's delegation visited KFU to talk about expanding on the bilateral memorandum signed in 2015.
As usual, the guests first toured the University's biomedical cluster and learned the history of medical education in Kazan.
After greeting the delegation and speaking briefly about the University's current developments, Rector Ilshat Gafurov noted, “We have a memorandum with Pfizer, and we need to expand on it with additional agreements. As of now we have actively cooperated in education, but haven't yet launched any tangible research projects together”.
These new plans were what the meeting was mostly about. CEO of Pfizer in Russia Sofia Kadykova replied, “We are first and foremost an innovative pharmaceutical business in Russia, and we are very glad that you are oriented at the same objectives. We would like to familiarize you with what we have been doing in recent years and how we can make some of these processes bilateral”.
In particular, she told about the company's More Than Education program which has been implemented since 2011. The program is aimed at educating new generations of professionals. KFU has been one of the universities where Pfizer presented modules within this program. The lectures and seminars in Kazan pertained to cardiovascular diseases, pharmacy, and chemoinformatics. Ms. Kadykova said, “Cardiology, neurology, psychiatry, and rheumatology are our primary interests, and our pharmaceutical research has concentrated in those areas. We are interested in conducting relevant educational events because it's very important that our products should be used correctly”.
The courses have already involved 25 thousand physicians in Russia, 3,500 of them in Tatarstan. Medical Representative of Pfizer in Russia Kirill Tverskoy elaborated, “As of now we are not able to recruit graduates of our programs in Russia. But why we are interested in educating Russian professionals – it's because we want to sign R&D deals with knowledgeable and competent partners. It's not important where they work in the end; the important thing is that they disseminate freshest expertise”.
Rector Gafurov praised such an outlook, "You are doing the right thing when you start with education. A person working in their field gets used to specific instruments and ecosystem, becomes a carrier of some ideology. We are ready for our graduates to be the messengers of your ideology and want to establish a joint department".
Kazan University is ready to offer an ambitious project for the start of this new stage of collaboration. Director of the Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology Andrey Kiyasov told the visitors about a planned research in monitoring and cataloguing of patients' reactions to various medications and another one in pharmacogenetics. He said, “Here in Tatarstan we have two largest genomic groups in Russia – Russo-Finno-Ugric and Tatar. If you join us, you can have a new perspective on the market from this side – we can discover the influence of not just your medications but pharmaceutical substances in general on those groups and then use this experience to minimize side effects”.
It's worth noting that most pharmaceutical companies use a different strategy – collecting spontaneous feedback about unwanted results of medication use. The proposed change in this approach can help increase the effectiveness of medication assignments, especially in those fields where there are many generics.
Rector Gafurov reminded that such non-standard projects can be unique for Russia; although Pfizer is not oriented at conducting research in the country, the resources of Russia's biggest universities can still provide wide opportunities. The company can open doors to the educational and scientific domain of the country with KFU's help.
All the new suggestions will be analyzed and then presented at Pfizer's headquarters.