Bayer, German Cancer Research Center expand oncology alliance

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

The successful strategic oncology research alliance between Bayer Healthcare and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) has been extended beyond the search of novel cancer therapeutics. The new alliance will now also focus on the field of immunotherapy and for the first time, scientists from both companies will work together in a joint laboratory.

The first immunology projects at the new laboratory, located at the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Heidelberg, are expected to begin in summer 2013. Immunotherapy is a promising approach because it allows scientists to selectively reactivate the body’s own immune system so that it attacks tumour cells.

“We are looking forward to interlinking our collaboration with the German Cancer Research Center more closely to develop new treatment options in the field of immunotherapy for patients suffering from cancer. Bayer is committed to develop innovative therapies that can help people with serious diseases such as cancer to live longer and improve their quality of life.”

Professor Dr. Andreas Busch, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer HealthCare and Head of Global Drug Discovery.

“The German Cancer Research Center’s excellent expertise in basic research in oncology and Bayer’s many years of experience in the development of new therapeutic options complement each other perfectly. Within the next five years, we aim to identify at least two new drug candidates in the field of cancer immunotherapy and to jointly develop them up to the start of clinical trials.”

Professor Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler, Chairman of the DKFZ’s Management Board.

Bayer Healthcare and DKFZ will invest together up to €3 million per year under the expanded alliance and will equally share the rights to the research findings. Since the two companies began their alliance back in 2008, they have successfully initiated 22 projects together, some of which have already reached important milestone stages.

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Reference links:

Bayer press release

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