Bayer and Haplogen GmbH, a Vienna-based biotechnology company, have entered into a multi-year research collaboration agreement to identify new drug candidates for the treatment of pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is a common and heterogeneous respiratory disease that causes breathlessness and predisposes to exacerbations and serious illness. Respiratory viral infections are one frequent cause of COPD exacerbations. One possible treatment approach for COPD exacerbations is to disrupt the multiplication of the responsible virus by inhibiting its replication. The goal of the research alliance is to develop new antiviral compounds addressing the high unmet medical need in reducing COPD exacerbations.
“Bayer is committed to further expanding its research efforts in the area of specialty lung diseases”, said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a severe medical condition and the third leading cause of mortality worldwide. New treatments are urgently needed and we are pleased to collaborate with Haplogen to develop meaningful innovations for patients suffering from COPD.”
The collaboration will build on discoveries and expertise developed at Haplogen in the field of broadly-acting rhinovirus therapeutics, which have been elaborated within and funded by the collaboration between Haplogen and Evotec AG since 2012.
“We feel proud and delighted that Bayer has chosen Haplogen as a partner and we regard this as recognition of the solid research and development work done at Haplogen in collaboration with our partner Evotec”, said Dr. Georg Casari, Chief Executive Officer of Haplogen.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer and Haplogen will jointly evaluate new drug candidates. Bayer will be responsible for any subsequent pre-clinical and clinical development and commercialization. The jointly generated results within the collaboration will be jointly owned. Bayer receives an exclusive worldwide license to the rights in all results, including those results developed within the collaboration between Haplogen and Evotec. Haplogen will receive an upfront payment, research funding and is eligible to receive pre-clinical, clinical and sales milestones as well as tiered royalties. Further financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
About chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
COPD is a chronic, progressive and non-reversible inflammatory disease causing airway obstruction. It is associated with cough, increased sputum production and shortness of breath and is most often caused by cigarette smoking, or exposure to other smoke. Due to airway obstruction and/or destruction of the alveoli (emphysema), less oxygen reaches the blood, which leads to hypoxia and vasoconstriction.
About Haplogen GmbH
Haplogen is a privately held biotechnology company in Vienna, Austria, with drug discovery programs to combat viral infectious and other diseases. Haplogen’s therapeutic programs are based on novel mechanisms that have been discovered using a functional genomics platform based on haploid genetics in human cell lines. Haplogen was founded in 2010 as a spin-out of CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. For more, go to http://www.haplogen.com.
About cardiovascular diseases 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.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.