SAN DIEGO (CNS) - UC San Diego Health Sciences announced Monday a partnership with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that is designed to shorten the time it takes to bring research discoveries to the marketplace.

The school's medical research arms are joining Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation, which was founded last year. The collaboration also includes UC San Francisco and several research hospitals in New York.

Pfizer will provide UCSD researchers with access to some of its antibody libraries and technologies, as well as funding to support the pre-clinical and clinical development of neuroscience, cancer, clinical pharmacology and other programs, according to the school.

"The collaborative partnerships formed through the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation between Pfizer and academic medical centers such as UC San Diego allow leading medical and clinical experts to join with Pfizer's highly skilled scientists -- using Pfizer's resources and expertise and each institution's advanced drug development capabilities to speed the translation of innovative science into medicine for patients," said Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, the company's senior vice president and head of BioTherapeutics Research and Development.

Between payments for intellectual property rights and royalties, UCSD estimated the five-year deal could be worth more than $50 million to the university.

"Public-private partnerships are increasingly important in science, especially in an era of limited federal grant support, when new resources are needed to commercialize innovations related to health care," UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said. "The UC San Diego-Pfizer agreement is an example of how we can work together and will hopefully serve as a model for other collaborations with industry."