Bayer has expanded its R&D presence in Singapore and is launching five new projects to investigate novel approaches to diagnose and treat cancers.

The German firm has announced an additional S$14.5 million investment (about $11.1 million) in R&D activities in partnership with Singapore’s biomedical research community. The cancer projects will be carried out in partnership with the National University of Singapore, National University Health System, SingHealth and A*Star’s Singapore Bioimaging Consortium.

Bayer says it will work closely with Singapore’s Biomedical Sciences Industry Partnership Office (BMS IPO), which provides a one-stop-shop for companies to connect with the country's life science network. Beh Kian Teik, director of biomedical sciences for Singapore’s Economic Development Board and programme director for the BMS IPO, noted that Bayer's "growing R&D presence here strongly attests to Singapore’s strengths as a leading partner to develop new therapies for Asia".
Bayer has increased ten-fold the number of trials it conducts in Asia, with about 50 being conducted last year, compared to six in 2005. In Singapore, the number of clinical studies sponsored by Bayer has gone up from two in 2006, to 15 last year

In 2002, Asia had the largest number of cancer deaths in the world, more than 3.3 million deaths and in Singapore, cancer is the number one leading cause of death, causing 29.3% of deaths in 2009.  

As well as Bayer, Roche and GlaxoSmithKline have recently signed alliances with Singapore’s research community, and more than 50 companies, 30 public-sector research institutes and medical centres have also linked up with Singapore's scientists.