Author: Hanju Lee

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FierceBiotech: Bayer bets on Johns Hopkins for eye disease…

German pharma giant Bayer is uniting with researchers at Johns Hopkins University to ferret out new treatments for retinal diseases, signing a 5-year deal targeting early-stage R&D.

Under the agreement, Bayer will work alongside the school’s Wilmer Eye Institute to spot new therapeutic targets, shed light on disease mechanisms and develop new drug delivery methods for back-of-the-eye ailments. Bayer will have exclusive rights to option any and all drug candidates that emerge from the collaboration, and the companies are keeping quiet on financial details.

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Johns Hopkins University and Bayer HealthCare Collaborate to Develop…

Baltimore (June 16, 2015) –The Johns Hopkins University and Bayer HealthCare have entered into a five-year collaboration agreement to jointly develop new ophthalmic therapies targeting retinal diseases. The goal of the strategic research alliance is to accelerate the translation of innovative approaches from the laboratory to the clinic, ultimately offering patients new treatment options for several retinal diseases.

Under the agreement, researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins and Bayer will jointly conduct research activities evaluating new targets and disease mechanisms, drug delivery technologies, and biomarkers for back-of-the-eye diseases with high unmet medical need. Both parties will contribute personnel and infrastructure to address important scientific questions. Bayer will have an option for the exclusive use of the collaboration results. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“There is a critical need for new therapies that treat a variety of serious diseases of the eye,” says Peter J. McDonnell, director of the Wilmer Eye Institute and professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Additional research will allow us the opportunity to make significant advances in this area.”

The collaboration aims to discover and develop innovative drugs for the treatment of serious back-of-the-eye diseases that affect many people worldwide, such as:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic macular edema
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Stargardt’s disease
  • Retinal vein occlusion

“Bayer is strongly committed to further expanding its research efforts in the area of retinal diseases,” says Andreas Busch, head of global drug discovery and member of the Executive Committee of Bayer HealthCare. “The Wilmer Eye Institute’s deep understanding of eye disease biology and patient care and Bayer’s expertise in drug discovery and development in ophthalmology complement each other perfectly. We are pleased to partner with this renowned institute, which is among the leading scientific and clinical institutions in ophthalmology worldwide.”

About Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a $7 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading academic health care systems in the United States. JHM unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. JHM’s vision, “Together, we will deliver the promise of medicine,” is supported by its mission to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, JHM educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness. JHM operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and 39 primary and specialty care outpatient sites under the umbrella of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, has been ranked number one in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 22 years of the survey’s 25 year history, most recently in 2013. For more information about Johns Hopkins Medicine, its research, education and clinical programs, and for the latest health, science and research news, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org.

About Wilmer Eye Institute
Founded in 1925, the Wilmer Eye Institute was the nation’s first university eye clinic to combine patient care, research and teaching under one roof. The Wilmer Eye Institute has long been recognized for bringing together ophthalmologists and optometrists consistently ranked by their peers as among the finest internationally, supported by a well-trained and highly-experienced team of physician assistants, nurses, technicians, and staff cited by patients for their knowledge, responsiveness, and sensitivity. Since 1925, the Institute has established and refined a flexible approach for delivering state-of-the-art ophthalmic care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and eight satellite locations across the State of Maryland. With the completion of The Robert H. and Clarice Smith Building and adjoining Maurice Bendann Surgical Pavilion in 2009, the Institute has established a preeminent vision research center and one of the most modern ophthalmic surgical facilities in the world. For more information about Wilmer Eye Institute, please visit: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/wilmer.

About Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures
Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) is The Johns Hopkins University’s intellectual property administration center, serving Johns Hopkins researchers and inventors as a licensing, patent and technology commercialization office and acting as an active liaison to parties interested in leveraging university research or materials for academic or corporate endeavors. JHTV helps develop new discoveries and inventions into products and services that benefit society and transform the world. In 2014, JHTV secured more than $16 million in licensing revenue, possessed more than 2,000 active issued patents and created 13 new startup companies. For more information about Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, opportunities to collaborate, start a technology venture or license a technology, visit https://ventures.jhu.edu/

About Ophthalmology at Bayer

As a leader in ophthalmology, Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by addressing unmet needs through scientific progress and innovation and facilitating medical education and knowledge sharing. Bayer has established strong internal R&D capabilities in ophthalmology with the aim to bring new therapies to patients suffering from vision impairment and sight-threatening diseases. The company’s internal R&D capacities are supplemented by external collaborations. As such, Bayer supports multiple projects and initiatives worldwide as well as partnering with multiple organizations to help improve the lives of people living with a visual impairment or blindness.

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.

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