Strategic Cooperation in Research and Development
In 2008 we entered into a strategic alliance with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, which is focused on the identification and early development of new therapeutic approaches for cancer. This collaboration is designed to turn new scientific discoveries about cancer into new medicines or therapies as quickly as possible. In 2011, the partnership was extended for an additional three years. A total of 19 projects have been initiated so far.
Since 2009, we have operated the internet platform “Grants4Targets.” With this crowdsourcing approach, we give researchers at universities, other research institutions or start-up companies the opportunity to propose biological target structures for cooperation with Bayer through an internet portal. We make expertise and financial assistance available to researchers to support the discovery of new therapeutic approaches in oncology, gynecology, cardiology and hematology. By combining the expertise of industry and academia, we aim to accelerate the progression from fundamental research to new and promising treatment options. A total of 825 applications have been submitted via internet so far, of which 114 projects are receiving support.
Since 2011, we have been collaborating with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute (LBI) for Pulmonary Vessel Research in Austria on research into disorders of the pulmonary blood vessels, particularly pulmonary hypertension. A further collaboration with a Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, the LBI for Translational Heart Failure Research in Austria, was formed in October 2011 to search for new approaches to treat myocardial insufficiency.
In March 2012, we signed an agreement with Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, to collaborate over a three-year period in the field of biomedical sciences. The agreement further expands our existing strategic cooperation at the Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center for Innovative Drug Discovery (BTC).
In April 2012, we extended our cooperation with Amgen Research GmbH, Munich, Germany, to include the research, development and commercialization of a new bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE™) antibody against a new, undisclosed target structure expressed in multiple tumors. Under the terms of the present agreement, we will collaborate with Amgen from the research phase through the completion of any Phase I clinical trials, upon which we will assume full control of further development and potential commercialization of the antibody.
In September 2012, we opened “CoLaborator™” – a new center in the Mission Bay district of San Francisco, California, United States, for young bioscience firms. This incubator concept is geared toward supporting young start-up companies founded by academic researchers. The scientists benefit from both the laboratory infrastructure and the expertise of the Bayer researchers and the potential this offers for the professional, goal-oriented design of development programs. At the same time, we aim to be the initial contact point for young companies in their search for possible cooperation partners.
In October 2012, we entered into a strategic alliance with Evotec AG, Hamburg. Together with this company we will carry out research into multiple target molecules associated with endometriosis over a fiveyear period. The aim is to identify three drug candidates for clinical development in the treatment of this disorder.
In October 2012, we signed an agreement with Qiagen Manchester Ltd., U.K., to jointly develop molecular in-vitro tests, also known as companion diagnostics. These tests are to be used to identify patients who are highly likely to respond to new cancer drugs from HealthCare.