Pitt U and Bayer in broad R&D collaboration

Bayer has been ramping up the deals over the past year with JVs, R&D collaborations and biotech funding galore.

The University of Pittsburgh is deepening its ties with German pharma Bayer as the two pen a research pact for heart, lung and blood disease indications.

Bayer, which has helped fund some of Pitt’s science programs in the past, says this broad partnership spans from early research studies to drug development and also includes big data analysis that is slated to encompass real-world evidence studies.

On top of this, Bayer will also be supporting an independent investigator-initiated clinical trial in sickle cell disease.

Heads from both Bayer and Pitt will come together to decide on the future of the deal, although more details were not given.

“The alliance builds upon a productive history of research collaboration between the scientists at Pitt and Bayer,” said Dr. Mark Gladwin, the Jack D. Myers Professor of Internal Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine at Pitt. "Working with Bayer under this master agreement will allow us to further explore drug discovery research to better understand and meet patient needs."

“Bayer is proud to partner with the University of Pittsburgh, bringing together their renowned scientists in partnership with Bayer's clinical disease experts and in-depth expertise in delivering new therapies to patients,” added Dario Mirski, SVP and head of medical affairs for the Americas at Bayer. “This partnership reflects continued investment in Bayer's U.S. drug discovery and development portfolio. Our goal is to advance meaningful research around pathophysiology and discovery, working closely with Pitt to evaluate new therapeutic principles for heart, lung and blood diseases.”

Bayer has in recent years been ramping up the deals and just last month was part of one of the biggest Series A funding rounds ever recorded for a biotech when it teamed up with Versant Ventures in a $225 million round for the launch of BlueRock Therapeutics.

Bayer’s venture also recently helped fund and form a gene editing biotech, known as Casebia, with CRISPR Therapeutics.