Bayer to open biotech Innovation Center in Pfizer's old SF digs

To help in its hunt for new biotech collaborators active in hematology, oncology, cardiology, diagnostics and women's health, Bayer HealthCare is planning to open a U.S. Innovation Center and relocate 65 of its researchers to Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE) old offices in San Francisco.

Bayer is taking half of Pfizer's old space near UC San Francisco's Mission Bay campus, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. And Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR), which is relocating from San Carlos, is taking the other half. The Innovation Center will be run by Bayer Vice President of Biologics Research Terry Hermiston.

"We wanted to be where the cutting-edge research was being done and there was space available," said Hermiston. Bayer also wanted to be where it could take advantage of San Francisco's tax credit program for biotech workers.

UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who directed one of the biotech industry's most successful development programs while at Genentech, has been stirring the biotech pot as well. She recently called for some heavy thinking about building a better biotech cluster in the Bay Area.

- here's the story from the San Francisco Chronicle