New York–based Pfizer launched The Open Innovation Portal, a scheme aimed at luring academic institutions and early-stage biotechs based in Asia into collaborations. To those signing up to the open innovation portal ( in return access to Pfizer's drug discovery and development expertise, Dean Mastrojohn, global media relations director at Pfizer says. “This move shows that Pfizer is aware that it needs to change its approach to innovation. Moving into this market will give Pfizer access to a huge market, as well as interesting and novel research,” says Greg Scott, founder of consulting firm ChinaBio, located in Shanghai. Although the Open Innovation Portal is not a venture fund, some projects include financial support. For example, the Alliances in Therapeutic Innovation project will provide $50,000–1,000,000 for projects in type 2 diabetes, hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and neurodegenerative and neurological diseases. Of particular interest are synthetic biology–based products and natural products amenable to synthetic chemistry or fermentation, innovative drug delivery approaches, and human genetic and proteomic studies for novel biomarkers. Others are looking east for partners, too. In March, London-based AstraZeneca signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Health Industry Development Institute to create an oncology research program, focusing on translational research.