Bayer HealthCare and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have entered into a five-year collaboration to develop ophthalmic therapies. The partners will jointly work on the discovery of treatments of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

The goal of the strategic research alliance is to accelerate the translation of innovative approaches from the laboratory to the clinic. The partnership aims at developing innovative drugs for the treatment of serious back-of-the-eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema, geographic atrophy, Stargardt’s disease, and retinal vein occlusion.

Bayer HelathCare will directly collaborate with the Wilmer Eye Institute. The Center’s deep understanding of eye disease biology and Bayer’s expertise in drug discovery and development in ophthalmology complement one another perfectly. The German company will have an option for the exclusive use of the collaboration’s outcome, to whom the allies will contribute with both employees and resources.

Bayer wants to expand its research efforts in the area of retinal diseases. The company already owns the rights to market best-seller Eylea outside the US. The drug, developed by Regeneron, consists of a vascular endothelial growth factor that has revolutionized the treatment of wet AMD and represents today the most widely used therapy. Eylea has rapidly become one of Bayer’s most sold treatments, and the company expects to maintain these results.

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