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Bayer and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Strategic Alliance Against Cancer

No. 06 | 04/02/2014 | by Sel

Bayer HealthCare and the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have agreed on a five-year strategic research alliance against cancer. The two partners have already been collaborating since 2009 with the aim of jointly developing novel therapeutic options for cancer patients. Bayer and the DKFZ will together invest up to 30 million Euros into their collaboration over the next five years to address the high medical need in cancer treatment and diagnosis.

© Bayer HealthCare AG

“Increasingly, we can build on the excellent results of our basic research and transfer them to the clinic. For successful translation, we need strong partners: both in the clinic, where we can rely on the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and on the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research, and in industry. The strategic alliance with Bayer HealthCare over the past five years has been extremely successful. Together we are able to advance promising projects with the prospect of reaching the clinic and hopefully the patients. We are pleased to continue this alliance for another five years,” explained Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wiestler, CEO of the German Cancer Research Center.

“We are looking forward to another five years of fruitful collaboration with the DKFZ. Together we have already initiated twenty-eight projects and twelve projects have reached important milestones,” said Prof. Dr. Andreas Busch, Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Drug Discovery. “The DKFZ’s scientific excellence as Germany’s largest biomedical research institute perfectly matches with Bayer’s proven drug discovery and development expertise. There is still a huge medical need in the treatment of a number of tumor types and cancer in general. This alliance demonstrates Bayer’s ongoing commitment to develop innovative therapies that can help patients suffering from cancer.”

About the collaboration

The collaboration, which was started in 2009, aims at finding and exploiting molecules, mechanisms and models as new starting points for the development of innovative anticancer therapeutics. Furthermore, the German Cancer Research Center and Bayer are working to develop novel methods of diagnosis to monitor the individual course of disease and treatment progress, and help to predict the treatment success. Twenty-eight joint anti-cancer projects have been initiated so far, twenty of these are currently ongoing. To date, a total of twelve projects has already reached important milestones and moved on to the next phase of drug discovery namely compound screening to identify new potential drug candidates. Two of these projects have successfully passed compound screening and the project teams now envisage the identification of drug candidates for clinical testing. The German Cancer Research Center and Bayer jointly decide on the start, continuation and management of projects. To date, three projects have been exclusively licensed by Bayer.

Early in 2013, Bayer and the German Cancer Research Center further extended their strategic research alliance by also focusing on the field of immunotherapy. Scientists from both partners work together in a joint laboratory located at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg.

Within the collaboration, the two partners have so far already invested more than 10 million Euros in their collaborative research. Over a period of another five years, the DKFZ and Bayer have agreed to further invest up to 6 million Euros per year, which would lead to an investment of up to 30 million Euros in collaborative oncology research projects.

About the German Cancer Research Center

The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) with its more than 2,500 employees is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. At DKFZ, more than 1,000 scientists investigate how cancer develops, identify cancer risk factors and endeavor to find new strategies to prevent people from getting cancer. They develop novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful. The staff of the Cancer Information Service (KID) offers information about the widespread disease of cancer for patients, their families, and the general public. Jointly with Heidelberg University Hospital, DKFZ has established the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, where promising approaches from cancer research are translated into the clinic. In the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), one of six German Centers for Health Research, DKFZ maintains translational centers at seven university partnering sites. Combining excellent university hospitals with high-profile research at a Helmholtz Center is an important contribution to improving the chances of cancer patients. DKFZ is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers, with ninety percent of its funding coming from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the remaining ten percent from the State of Baden-Württemberg.

About Bayer HealthCare

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 18.6 billion (2012), is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 54,900 employees (Dec 31, 2012) and is represented in more than 100 countries. More information at


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