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Strategic alliance between DKFZ and Bayer

On 26th November 2008, the German Cancer Research Centre and Bayer Schering Pharma AG signed an agreement to establish a strategic research alliance. The partners hope that their cooperation will lead to quicker access to research results for use in the development of new anti-cancer drugs as well as enabling a better assessment of innovative therapeutic approaches for tumour diseases.

Bayer and the German Cancer Research Centre will invest a total of 3.5 million euros in cooperative cancer research over the next two years. Each partner will provide 1.75 million euros. The agreement signifies a new way of working for both partners. It includes the use of joint funds for current projects; a joint committee will decide which projects are to be funded. This will give researchers broader scope and freedom in their research, which is an excellent prerequisite for innovation and benefits both partners.

“Due to the dynamic growth of knowledge and the enormous complexity of biomedical research, excellence networks have become an important success factor. This strategic alliance creates the basis for long-term cooperation and it combines the scientific excellence of a top research institute with the stated expertise of Bayer in drug development,” said Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, member of Bayer AG’s Board of Management responsible for Innovation and Technology. “This partnership will also strengthen Germany as a knowledge location.”

The partners will specifically focus on joint application-oriented projects dealing with research into molecules, mechanisms and models that will boost the development of new cancer therapies. In addition, the partners will investigate new diagnostic methods for monitoring disease progression and therapeutic progress in individual patients as well as methods to predict therapeutic outcome. So-called biomarkers – physiological substances, the concentration of which changes during the course of a disease – could potentially play a decisive role in this area.

”The German Cancer Research Centre stands for excellent basic research in the field of oncology; Bayer Schering Pharma has long-standing experience in the pharmaceutical development of active substances. Bringing together the strengths of the two partners creates outstanding potential along the value creation chain – from the discovery of a pharmaceutically active molecule up to its clinical application,” explains Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler, Board Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer at the German Cancer Research Centre. “Cancer patients will in future be able to benefit more quickly from new developments.”

Besides project work, the partnership between the DKFZ and Bayer will also involve the regular exchange of information and the transfer of knowledge. The partners are also planning to work with the National Centre for Tumour Diseases (NCT), which is an institution run jointly by the German Cancer Research Centre, the University Hospital in Heidelberg and German Cancer Aid, whose aim is to link up clinic-oriented oncological research in Heidelberg.

Source: DKFZ - 21 November 2008 (P)
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/press-release/strategic-alliance-between-dkfz-and-bayer