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Partners HealthCare and Bayer Open Joint Lab for Research of New Treatments for Chronic Lung Disease

2 minute read
Representatives from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Bayer pose for group photo

Bayer and Partners HealthCare’s founding members Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) today announced the launch of a joint lab to research new drug candidates to treat chronic lung diseases. The joint lab will host scientists from all three parties and Bayer is investing more than USD 30 million to fund joint research projects over the next five years.

Chronic lung disease is a broad term for a number of diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). About 65 million people suffer from COPD and 3 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide.

Within the framework of this new collaboration, four leading experts will combine their expertise in the search for new treatment options for patients who suffer from chronic lung diseases: Edwin Silverman, MD, PhD, Chief of the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH, Bruce Levy, MD, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at BWH, Benjamin Medoff, MD, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at MGH, Markus Koch, PhD, Head of Preclinical Research, Lung Diseases at Bayer.  

“This strategic collaboration complements our in-house research and will bring us closer to providing life-changing treatment options for patients living with chronic lung diseases,” said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG's Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development. “The joint lab concept continues to be an innovative model for collaboration between academia and industry, enabling novel approaches to drug discovery.”

“We strongly believe that this model will significantly accelerate the pace of discovery toward the goal of getting new therapies from the lab to patients safely and efficiently,” said Paul Anderson, MD, PhD, SVP and Chief Academic Officer, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “This collaboration provides the opportunity to integrate novel findings directly into the drug development pipeline, thus speeding up the time to move a new treatment into the clinic.”  

Scientists will work side-by-side, combining Bayer’s capabilities in drug discovery and development with the complementary clinical expertise, understanding of disease mechanisms, data analysis capabilities and insights from leading physician scientists of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The lab, located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will see more than 20 people from all three organizations work in combined teams. The rights to the research findings will be shared equally between the organizations.

The new lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, bolsters Bayer’s existing presence in Boston. Earlier this year, Bayer committed to opening lab and office space in the heart of Kendall Square to further expand its research and development efforts. In 2018, Bayer established a first joint lab in Boston together with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the area of cardiovascular diseases. The Pharmaceutical Business Development & Licensing team of Bayer facilitated this collaboration.

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Rich Copp

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About Partners HealthCare

Partners HealthCare is an integrated health care system, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital that offers patients a continuum of coordinated and high-quality care. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the system includes community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, a physician network, community health centers, home health and long-term care services, and other health care entities. Partners is a non-profit organization that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Innovation is the 120-person business development unit of Partners HealthCare responsible for the worldwide commercial application of the unique capabilities and discoveries of Partners' 74,000 employees.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to