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Press releases / 03.31.15

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Bayer Healthcare expand their partnership to develop therapies for cardiovascular disease

Cambridge, Mass., March 31st, 2015

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have expanded their collaboration with Bayer HealthCare to include cardiovascular genomics and drug discovery. The goal of this new part of the alliance is to leverage insights from human genetics to help create new cardiovascular therapies.

“It is exciting to be expanding on our ongoing, successful partnership with Bayer in oncology,“ said Professor Eric Lander, President and Director of Broad Institute. “We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration combining Bayer’s expertise in the cardiovascular therapeutic area with Broad’s deep knowledge of genomics and biology”.

Cardiovascular genomics is an emerging field of cardiology that uses genomic information to characterize disease risk and identify new therapeutic targets for drug discovery. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for approximately one-third of all deaths worldwide each year. While a majority of cardiovascular disease can be associated with lifestyle factors such as tobacco consumption, diet, and level of physical activity, risk genes can influence the predisposition to cardiovascular disease, age of onset, and severity.

“We are excited to broaden our collaboration with the Broad Institute to the area of cardiovascular genomics to discover genes and mutational changes underlying cardiovascular disorders in order to develop new therapies and diagnostic options for these diseases,” said Prof. Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and member of the Executive Committee of Bayer HealthCare. “We have been collaborating already for the last two years and have developed a very constructive partnership during this time.”

As part of this strategic alliance, Broad Institute and Bayer HealthCare will collaborate on genetic discovery, target validation, and drug discovery activities. Governance for this alliance will be comprised of a joint steering committee and joint research committee that will oversee research progress and direction. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods and data openly to the entire scientific community.
Founded by MIT, Harvard and its affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, go to broadinstitute.org.

About Cardiology at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering Science For A Better Life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. Cardiovascular diseases have become a severe problem in our society. Bayer is working in a wide range of therapeutic areas on new treatment approaches for cardiovascular, lung and kidney diseases. The cardiology franchise at Bayer already includes a number of products and several other compounds in various stages of preclinical and clinical development. Together, these products reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cardiovascular diseases are treated.

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 around EUR 20.0 billion (2014), 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 60,700 employees (Dec 31, 2014) and is represented in more than 100 countries. More information is available at www.healthcare.bayer.com.