Bayer has signed a five-year pact with John Hopkins University to seek out and develop new therapies for eye conditions and beef up its ophthalmic portfolio.

The groups are planning on working together on the discovery and development of innovative drugs for serious back-of-the-eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular oedema, geographic atrophy, Stargardt’s disease and retinal vein occlusion.

Under the terms of the pact, Bayer and the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins will jointly carry out research into new targets and disease mechanisms, drug delivery technologies and biomarkers for eye conditions with high unmet medical need.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was noted that both parties will contribute personnel and infrastructure and Bayer will have an option for the exclusive use of the collaboration results. 

Peter McDonnell, Director of the Wilmer Eye Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says there is “a critical need” for new therapies treating a variety of serious eye diseases, and that additional research “will allow us the opportunity to make significant advances in this area”.