1 December 2017 @ 10.00 a.m. CET
We’ve spent over 150 years working to improve patients’ lives. We think our research and innovation at Bayer Pharmaceuticals is worth sharing. This year, we’re pleased to host our first Annual Pharmaceuticals Media Day in Berlin where we’ve invited journalists to join us to hear more about how we bring meaningful medicines to patients through the power of science.
“We continue to invest in our Pharmaceuticals Division as an essential contributor to the success of our company. A significant portion of these investments will be allocated to our research and development activities.”
Dieter Weinand, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, President Pharmaceuticals
You can follow the media day right here on our website and join the conversation on social media via #BPHMD.
Research for a better life
Heart disease and cancer are the two most common causes of death worldwide1. They are also two of our key research and development areas. At our media day this year, we’ll put the spotlight on our work on cancer – a disease which, according to the WHO, expects to see the number of new cases rise by approximately 70% over the next 20 years.
The landscape of this disease is changing continuously, presenting challenges and opportunities as to how cancer can be tackled. Over the last 20 years, the way we understand cancer has evolved, leading to a decreasing death rate. During this time, our oncology franchise has gone through a transformation. As of today, our portfolio contains four cancer therapies in eight approved indications, as well as several other treatments in our pipeline which are at various stages of development.
We won’t rest
To date, our therapies have treated more than 700,000 patients worldwide. We won’t rest. We are striving to give patients more treatment options and committed to improving the current standard of patient care.
“We are committed to improving the current standard of care and are passionate about creating new therapeutic options for patients to ensure they live longer and healthier lives.”
Jörg Möller, Head of Development, Pharmaceuticals Division
We count on collaboration
We work together with external partners who complement our own internal strengths and competencies. By doing this, we ensure we are in the best position to find new ways to treat cancer and ultimately improve patients’ lives. Our media day showcases our research work with external experts from the renowned Broad Institute, the German Cancer Research Center – just two of our partners in our broader network comprising of academic institutions, biotech and pharmaceutical industry experts.
Discovering innovative treatments for cancer
When it comes to treating cancer, you may have read in the news about the success a treatment that uses your body’s own immune system to help treat cancer. This is just one of the new and innovative methods of fighting cancer that we are devoting our energy to.
Learn more about four groundbreaking cancer research platforms we are working on:
Oncogenic signaling is crucial for the survival, growth and proliferation of cancer. The aim of this research is to develop therapies that can inhibit signaling pathways and lead to tumor cell death. Cancer develops when the normal process of cell division alters and some cells start growing uncontrollably, this can occur due to alterations in signaling pathways. Many important nodes of these pathways are located inside a tumor cell. New active substances aim to inhibit cancer-specific signaling pathways to kill cancer cells and stop cancer from growing.
Bayer scientists are researching and developing small molecules which can inhibit tumor-specific pathways inside the cells leading to their death and preventing cancer from growing.
Immuno-oncology therapies work by reactivating the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Cancer cells form in the body every day and they are usually eliminated by the immune system. However, sometimes, cancerous cells evade the immune response and develop into a tumor. Immuno-oncology therapies work by reactivating the immune system to initiate an efficient anti-tumor immune response.
Bayer scientists are carrying out research into anti-tumor immunity to address the needs of patients that are resistant to current immuno-oncology therapies.
Antibody-drug conjugates consist of an active substance attached to an antibody that delivers it specifically to a tumor to kill off cancer cells. Antibodies recognize specific marker molecules on the surface of cancer cells, targeting the conjugate to the tumor. The conjugate is taken into the cell, where the toxic payload is released which ultimately leads to tumor cell death.
Bayer scientists are exploring different antibodies to target different tumors, so antibody-drug conjugates can potentially be developed for different cancers.
Targeted Thorium conjugates (TTCs) consist of an antibody which carries alpha-particle emitting Thorium-227 specifically to a tumor to kill off cancer cells. The TTC attaches itself to the surface of the tumor cells and alpha particles are emitted, damaging the tumor DNA and leading to tumor cell death. Different antibodies target different types of tumor; therefore Targeted Thorium conjugates can be potentially developed for different cancers.
Bayer scientists are developing a TTC platform with a series of conjugates using different antibodies. This builds on the synergies between antibody-drug conjugates and Targeted Thorium conjugates.
Our dedication to developing cancer-treating drugs
Because the external landscape is evolving so rapidly, we decided to change our approach to drug discovery and development in order to bring new drugs to patients as quickly as possible. We created a new strategic business unit for oncology which combines key functions from across the organization including Development, Strategic Marketing and Medical Affairs.
In doing this, we want to ensure that each phase of drug research and development happens faster and seamlessly so we can act quickly to identify and develop potentially life-changing treatments.
If you ever wondered about the entire process of how a new drug is created and finally brought to patients, you should take a look at our series “From Molecules to Medicine” where we explain the phases of the entire process of drug development.
Putting patients at the heart of everything we do
Some of our most important feedback comes from our patients, to whom our daily work is geared. A crucial part of the development process of a cancer drug includes clinical trials. We are working on building patient-reported outcomes into our trials and incorporating patient feedback into the design of new trials. The media day will give journalists further insights into how Bayer conducts clinical trials and the complex process of recruiting patients to take part in them.
“Patients are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we strive to develop effective, life-improving therapies”
Robert LaCaze, Head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit, Pharmaceuticals Division