Oncology

Innovation that
changes patients’ lives

We believe in breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. You could be doing that in our state-of-the-art facilities, with specialized laboratories and equipment focused on structural and computational biology, molecular design, drug metabolism, high throughput chemistry and pharmacology. Everything you work with will have been designed to help you discover, investigate and develop transformative therapies for the treatment of cancer.

It’s a place where you can make progress every day.

A long line of breakthroughs

With a leading portfolio of 18 medicines and biosimilars in more than 20 indications, we have a history of breakthroughs across a wide range of cancers. We’ve helped discover, develop, or both, therapies including Sutent® (sunitinib), Xalkori® (crizotinib), Inlyta® (axitinib), Bosulif® (bosutinib), Bavencio® (avelumab) and Ibrance® (palbociclib).

Our scientists

They’re part of a broader Pfizer effort to develop oncology treatments that are as diverse as cancer itself, with a sharp focus on the most disruptive advances in science and guided by the urgency to help patients receive the next wave of life-changing cancer medicines.

They uncover new approaches to attack cancer cells directly and more effectively. With recent clinical success in immunotherapy reshaping the field of oncology, the prospects for more durable and even curative responses to many cancers may be on the horizon.

Some of our biggest developments

Xalkori, an advancement in precision medicine, was the first treatment option for ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. Bavencio became the first product approved for Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer. And Ibrance was the first FDA approved CDK 4/6 inhibitor, representing a significant treatment advance for metastatic breast cancer patients.

What’s next?

Today, we are working on the next wave of innovation and we are relentless in our pursuit of excellence in innovation. We are guided by the urgency of the patients we serve and work tirelessly to make inroads against cancer.

It’s innovation at its finest.

La Jolla, CA – Make a difference with Pfizer

At Pfizer La Jolla, we’ve consolidated our sites to bring together Immuno-Oncology (IO), Early Oncology Development Clinical Research (EODCR) and Small Molecule science in one 500,000 square-foot facility to discover stronger treatments for our patients worldwide.

Whatever role you choose, you’ll be working alongside ambitious, confident and passionate scientists, with access to deep expertise in drug development as well as Pfizer’s breadth of resources. Academics and clinicians will be your partners, and work to bring out the best in you just as you collaborate with them.

It’s your opportunity to make a positive difference to the world and enhance your own career by turning curiosity and conviction into reality.

Make a difference in a Pfizer role

La Jolla, CA – Make a difference with Pfizer

At Pfizer La Jolla, we’ve consolidated our sites to bring together Immuno-Oncology (IO), Early Oncology Development Clinical Research (EODCR) and Small Molecule science in one 500,000 square-foot facility to discover stronger treatments for our patients worldwide.

Whatever role you choose, you’ll be working alongside ambitious, confident and passionate scientists, with access to deep expertise in drug development as well as Pfizer’s breadth of resources. Academics and clinicians will be your partners, and work to bring out the best in you just as you collaborate with them.

It’s your opportunity to make a positive difference to the world and enhance your own career by turning curiosity and conviction into reality.

Apply here

Immuno-Oncology

We understand the need for better, more targeted cancer treatments, which is why we are exploring the underlying mechanisms of the immune system, the microenvironment in which cancer cells grow, and the multiple pathways that contribute to the growth and spread of tumors.

We believe that the curative potential of IO is transforming outcomes for patients and will continue to be an important facet of future cancer treatments. The true value of IO lies in effective combinations, driven by solid preclinical science – ultimately, we’re not bound by one modality, platform or disease, allowing us to convert the best science into the greatest impact for patients.

Apply here


Our focus 

We’re researching and developing IO combinations, precision IO approaches, and next-generation IO modalities, including:

  • New chemical and biological entities
  • Antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) that combine the specificity of an antibody with the cancer cell–killing power of a chemotherapy
  • Bi-functional antibodies that target specific cell populations
  • Novel cancer vaccines to harness the body’s immune system

We aim to translate the most promising science into the best cancer treatments possible for patients. With a robust pipeline of potential cancer medicines and the power of the full Pfizer enterprise, we are poised to deliver new medicines for the treatment of more than 20 cancers in the coming years.


What we do 

We’re testing up to 10 Pfizer combinations with checkpoint inhibitors, including five targeted Pfizer therapies. We also have up to 10 external collaborative combinations in the clinic.

Our R&D program is in a strong position to help define the foundation of IO. Our pipeline includes 4-1BB and OX40 agonist, PD1 inhibitor, BCMA bispecific and VBIR vaccine. We have 44 IO programs in phase 1 through registration (April 30th, 2019 pipeline disclosure).


EODCR (Early Oncology Development and Clinical Research)

The Early Oncology Development and Clinical Research (EODCR) group consists of leaders from clinical development, clinical pharmacology, translational oncology, and other supportive areas.

Apply here


Our focus  

Understanding the appropriate dose and schedule, indications to pursue, and combination partners to test are key deliverables. In addition, we focus on translational medicine. An understanding of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, resistance mechanisms, and subject selection strategies associated with our molecules is vital.


What we do 

We work with discovery research and late development to transition our molecules from discovery to pivotal trial testing. In early development, we perform first-in-human clinical trials to determine our novel molecules’ the safety profile and early efficacy signals.


Small Molecule

We’re pushing the boundaries of scientific innovation to develop novel epigenetic therapies that can impact patient lives.

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What we do 

Shikhar Sharma, Senior Principal Scientist, explains “Epigenetic mechanisms have profound effect on tumor-intrinsic oncogenic pathways along with cell fate changes that drive cancer development. Epigenetic plasticity also promotes tumor heterogeneity giving rise to drug tolerant populations resistant to anti-cancer agents and host immune recognition.”

He continues, “We aim to develop first-in-class epigenetic drugs and rational combination therapies which can effectively inhibit oncogenic pathways, re-sensitize refractory tumors to targeted therapies and promote anti-tumor immune responses.”

They team is also looking at ways to combat rogue cancer cells that mutate to avoid cancer-killing treatments. Medicines called cell-cycle kinase inhibitors put the brakes on uncontrolled cancer cell proliferation by blocking only key enzymes that drive cell division.


Where we are

La Jolla

The San Diego area has one of the largest concentrations of academic and biotechnology institutions in the world. As the industry grows, Pfizer is at the heart of it all and working in partnership with academia and industry.

Where we are

La Jolla

The San Diego area has one of the largest concentrations of academic and biotechnology institutions in the world. As the industry grows, Pfizer is at the heart of it all and working in partnership with academia and industry.

Meet the Team

Meet our scientists