Bayer and the National University of Singapore have set up a preclinical cancer research collaboration.

Initially, the alliance will focus on three projects, and the German-based group will invest up to 10 million euro in R&D activities in Singapore over the next five to eight years. The partnership will involve Singapore-based universities, hospitals, research institutes and companies.

These projects are going to profile oncology drugs in Asian populations, to identify novel biomarkers and to investigate novel tumour models. Andreas Busch, head of global drug discovery at Bayer Schering Pharma, said that the firm is looking forward to making use of Singapore’s “excellent translational research capabilities and world- class research infrastructure to develop and further advance new anti-cancer therapies”.

He added that “we also see this agreement as the start of further research collaborations in Singapore that Bayer will continue to invest in”. John Wong, dean of the medical school of NUS said “we are hopeful that our joint efforts will translate into discoveries to innovation therapies that will benefit Singaporeans and patients around the world.”

Bayer biopharmaceuticals pact in Kentucky
The Singapore deal comes a day after Bayer said that it is collaborating with the USA’s Kentucky Bioprocessing to set up a facility at the latter’s Owensboro site to produce plant-made pharmaceutical proteins and other products on commercial scale. This will be based on Bayer's magnICON technology, which is being used to develop a vaccine for the therapy of non-Hodgkin-lymphoma.

Bayer is also in the process of licensing out magnICON to other parties.