Bayer, Broad expand partnership to advance cancer drug discovery research

Expanded agreement will focus on identifying three new drugs for novel oncology targets

Bayer and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard announced today that they have extended their multi-disciplinary research partnership by an additional five years, to develop and advance novel cancer treatments. The expanded agreement will focus on jointly pursuing novel oncology targets using Broad's unique capabilities, with the goal of bringing new medicines to patients. 

“With Bayer’s commitment to oncology, we are excited to build on our relationship with the Broad Institute to translate discoveries into real benefit for patients. We credit the Broad Institute as an entrepreneurial, forward-thinking collaboration partner that has helped us build a base of trust and close communication between our scientists,” said Chandra Ramanathan, Ph.D., Vice President and Head of the Bayer East Coast Innovation Center. “Having built a robust portfolio in the first few years, including the identification of multiple drug candidates, we are thrilled to continue our work with the Broad scientists to bring novel cancer treatments to the clinic.” 

Established in 2013, the partnership brings together the Broad Institute’s expertise in cancer research and chemical biology with Bayer’s in-depth experience in small, chemically manufactured molecules and biologics drug discovery. In 2015, the collaboration was expanded to examine genomics and drug discovery in cardiovascular disease. With this recent extension, the Broad Institute will also bring their expertise in biomarker development and patient selection and clinical trial design.

Now extended to 2023, the Bayer-Broad collaboration is uniquely structured to encourage close coordination and ongoing, face-to-face interactions between researchers at both organizations. For example, an alliance manager from Bayer is located at the Broad Institute to help coordinate projects and ensure researchers have rapid access to information. The research is guided by joint project and governance teams. In addition to identifying investigational drugs for novel oncology targets and generating the associated intellectual property, the institutions will continue to openly share the biological knowledge generated with the scientific community, including through publicly-available datasets and publications in academic journals.

“The successful partnership between Broad and Bayer has already resulted in exciting advances in oncology drug discovery, with several programs advancing toward the clinic,” said Todd Golub, Chief Scientific Officer of the Broad Institute. “In order to successfully create new therapeutics that reach cancer patients, we must draw simultaneously on the skills of academia and industry. By collaborating with Bayer, we have created a research environment that combines the Broad’s expertise in cancer biology and innovative drug discovery methods with the drug development expertise and capabilities that Bayer’s team can bring. Ultimately it means a greater chance of making critical discoveries, and rapidly delivering on these findings, so we can reach patients.”