Bayer teams up with Texas' MD Anderson for cancer clinical trials

Global pharma giant Bayer has inked a three-year deal with the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center to run clinical trials, matching its investigators with patient-serving oncologists in a deep-seated collaboration.

Under the agreement, the two have formed a joint committee to plan and conduct trials for Bayer's slate of in-development drugs, which include treatments for colorectal, breast and kidney cancers. The partnership will cover treatments in various stages of development. Once studies get rolling, Bayer will count on the Houston-based expertise of MD Anderson's staff to help steer its new efforts in oncology, the company said.

The deal is part of a companywide commitment to finding the best science, in-house or not, Head of Global Development Kemal Malik said, and MD Anderson's ability to integrate patient care, research and prevention makes it an ideal partner.

"Bayer is committed to bringing collaborative leadership to life by fostering partnerships with world-renowned research centers such as MD Anderson," Malik said in a statement. "The partnership will bring together thought-leading scientists who will focus on improving the understanding of the biological mechanism of cancer to help identify patients who are likely to respond to specific treatments."

Bayer's move is part of a growing trend in both industry and academia, as drugmakers recognize the clinical trial potential of well-established medical centers and universities see the financial benefits of partnering up. Schools like Duke, Yale and Rutgers universities have all struck similar deals, whether through in-house CROs or hospital-housed research centers.

- read the announcement