Bayer healthcare collaborates with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to develop therapies for cardiovascular disease

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bayer HealthCare (Bayer) has expanded its collaboration with the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University 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.

"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 Professor Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and member of the Executive Committee of Bayer HealthCare. "We have been collaborating over the last two years and have developed a very constructive partnership during this time."

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.

"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."

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.