WHIPPANY, N.J., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare has entered into a strategic alliance with the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the area of oncogenomics and drug discovery. The Broad Institute, one of the world's most renowned non-profit biomedical research institutes, brings together scientists from Harvard, MIT and the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and has deep expertise in genomics, cancer, chemical biology, and drug discovery, as well as other areas. The goal of this collaboration is to jointly discover and develop therapeutic agents that selectively target cancer genome alterations over a period of five years.
"We are excited to collaborate with such a prestigious research institute as the Broad Institute which brings together researchers from Harvard, MIT, and the Harvard hospitals," said Professor Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer HealthCare. "The Broad Institute's scientists have created impressive systematic catalogues of mutational changes across different types of tumors, laying a foundation for the development of new cancer therapies and diagnostics. The alliance is another significant step underlining our engagement in the field of oncology and personalized medicine."
Oncogenomics is a promising field of oncology research that identifies and characterizes genes which are associated with cancer. Cancer is caused by accumulation of DNA mutations which leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation and tumor formation. The goal of oncogenomics research is to identify new genes which in a modified (mutated) version stimulate (oncogenes) or lose their ability to suppress (tumor suppressor genes) tumor cell growth. This may provide new insights into cancer diagnosis, predicting clinical outcome of cancers, and new targets for cancer therapies. Targeting individual patient tumor mutations will allow for the development of more personalized cancer treatments.
"We look forward to working together with our Bayer colleagues to translate scientific discoveries into novel cancer therapeutics," said Professor Eric Lander, President and Director of Broad Institute. "The Broad's deep expertise and knowledge in cancer genomics, chemical biology and drug discovery perfectly complement Bayer's decades of experience in pharmaceutical development. We are thrilled to be working with Bayer in such a visionary collaboration."
As part of the collaboration, the Broad Institute will share its oncogenomic expertise. Both parties will explore their compound libraries and use their screening platforms as well as medicinal chemistry expertise to benefit joint projects. The collaboration will be based on joint decision making and the rights to the research findings are shared equally between the partners. Joint Research and Joint Steering Committees will be established for the initiation and selection of projects and as governance structures. Bayer will have an option for an exclusive license for therapeutic agents at preclinical development stage. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT was launched in 2004 to empower the generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods and data openly to the entire scientific community.
Founded by MIT, Harvard and its affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, go to http://www.broadinstitute.org.
About Oncology at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The oncology franchise at Bayer now includes three oncology products and several other compounds in various stages of clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company's approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated.
About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer HealthCare is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, and combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. As a specialty pharmaceutical company, Bayer HealthCare provides products for General Medicine, Hematology, Neurology, Oncology and Women's Healthcare. The company's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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