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Pfizer launches Healthcare Hub to support healthtech startups

Published on 19/04/17 at 09:04am

Pfizer has announced the launch of ‘Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London’, a project that aims to help startups, focusing on the development of technology in healthcare, to grow to ‘reach more patients and providers’. Pfizer will provide both funding and networking support to ‘late-stage’ startups, with a focus on companies developing technologies such as devices, apps, wearables, Artificial Reality and Virtual Reality.

The hub joins similar initiatives set up in New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv. Pfizer is also launching similar projects in Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto. The project in London will see startups apply for a share of £56,000 grant, alongside a commitment from Pfizer of a year of support.

Dr Hamish Graham, Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London Manager, said: “The Healthcare Hub will provide a platform for start-ups to harness Pfizer’s global network, enabling them to get access to our expertise, understanding and guidance. We hope, with our support, that they’ll be able to reach their goals and get their innovations adopted within the health service.”

The benefit for Pfizer in harbouring these startups is certainly through the connection gained to cutting-edge healthcare technology,  a facet of the industry that is becoming increasingly important to pharmaceutical companies. The largest companies are now concentrating more energy and funds into developing healthcare technologies, such as Takeda’s recent collaboration in wearable tech.

The growing interest in the area comes with an awareness that technology will continue to develop rapidly in the area, particularly in the area of real world data – as smart devices’ ability to reap massive amounts of user’s data increases. Aiding to develop technology through companies working across the globe effectively taps Pfizer into the latest developments in healthtech. It is not clear whether Pfizer’s funding will provide them with intellectual rights to the healthtech produced by the hub but it could be a potential benefit beyond knowledge sharing.

For London, it represents another reassuring sign that companies are still interested in having a base, despite the uncertain background of Brexit.

“I’m delighted that we’ll be launching the Pfizer Healthcare Hub here in the UK,” said Erik Nordkamp, Pfizer UK Managing Director. “We live in a country that is already a centre for original thinking and innovation within healthcare and our goal is to accelerate the success of the brightest start-ups in this field and help them make a difference to patients”.

Ben Hargreaves

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