Bayer HealthCare has entered into a five-year collaboration agreement with The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, for the discovery and development of new ophthalmic therapies targeting retinal diseases.
The deal will see the two parties jointly work to develop new drugs to treat serious back-of-the-eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), geographic atrophy, Stargardt’s disease and retinal vein occlusion (RVO).
Bayer HealthCare Global Drug Discovery head and Executive Committee member professor Andreas Busch said: "Bayer is strongly committed to further expanding its research efforts in the area of retinal diseases.
"The Wilmer Eye Institute’s deep understanding of eye disease biology and patient care and Bayer’s expertise in drug discovery and development in ophthalmology complement each other perfectly.
"We are pleased to partner with this renowned institute which is among the leading scientific and clinical institutions in ophthalmology worldwide."
The research alliance is aimed at accelerating the translation of new approaches from the laboratory to the clinic, ultimately offering patients new treatment options for several retinal diseases.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ophthalmology professor and Wilmer Eye Institute director said: "There is a critical need for new therapies that treat a variety of serious diseases of the eye.
"Additional research will allow us the opportunity to make significant advances in this area."
Both the parties will jointly conduct research activities evaluating new targets and disease mechanisms, drug delivery technologies, and biomarkers for back-of-the-eye diseases with high unmet medical need.
They will also contribute personnel and infrastructure in order to address important scientific questions.
Additionally, Bayer will have an option for the exclusive use of the collaboration results.
Image: Bayer HealthCare’s research site at Berlin, Germany. Photo: courtesy of Bayer AG.