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Bayer, Broad Sign Oncogenomics Partnership

By Bio-IT World Staff 
September 10, 2013 | Bayer HealthCare and the Broad Institute have announced a strategic alliance in oncogenomics and drug discovery in order 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 Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and member of the executive committee of Bayer HealthCare in a press release. "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."
As part of the collaboration, the Broad Institute will share its oncogenomic expertise.  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 Eric Lander, president and director of the Broad Institute in a statement. "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."
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.
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