Bayer HealthCare to Join Not-For-Profit Structural Genomics Consortium to Accelerate Research in Epigenetics

TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Bayer Inc. is pleased to announce that Bayer HealthCare has joined the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), a not-for-profit, public-private partnership with active research facilities at the Universities of Toronto and Oxford, UK. Bayer will support funding the consortium to accelerate precompetitive drug research in the areas of protein sciences and epigenetics. Furthermore, Bayer will provide a subset of its compound library for screening to the SGC and will also conduct the chemical work to identify probes. The joint research efforts within the consortium may open up new possibilities for the development of novel therapies - particularly in oncology.

"We are excited to join the SGC which has an impressive track record in providing protein X-ray structures and chemical probes for epigenetics research," said Prof. Hanno Wild, Senior Vice President and Head of Candidate Generation & Exploration at Bayer HealthCare Global Drug Discovery. "This unique public-private partnership combines the strengths of first class academic and industrial partners in a large global scientific network. While advancing the field by discovering new probes, we hope to gain a better understanding of disease processes and find new starting points for drug discovery programs to speed up the development of new medicines in areas with a high unmet medical need."

The SGC and Bayer HealthCare will collaborate on different research projects in Toronto and Oxford with the goal to identify small molecules that can interfere with the activity of proteins involved in epigenetic control to unravel disease mechanisms. Chemical probes and protein X-ray structures discovered under the collaboration will be put in the public domain without restriction on use to provide tools advancing research in epigenetics.

Epigenetics, in biology, refers to the study of heritable and acquired changes in gene function that occur without a change in the underlying DNA sequence. With new chemical probes to interrogate epigenetic processes and X-ray structures of protein targets that increase the understanding of binding events and allow for tailoring probes, the scientific knowledge in this area may be significantly advanced. This is hoped to pave the way for new drug discovery programs on previously uncurable diseases.

About the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC)
With active research facilities at the Universities of Toronto and Oxford, the not-for-profit organization supports the discovery of new medicines by carrying open access research in structural and chemical biology. More than 200 researchers in academia and in nine pharmaceutical companies collaborate within SGC to accomplish these goals. The SGC is also funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Wellcome Trust and nine pharmaceutical companies. More information is available at www.thesgc.org.

About Bayer in Canada
Bayer Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG and the corporate headquarters for its Canadian operations.  Celebrating its 150th anniversary, Bayer AG is an international research-based group with core businesses in healthcare, crop science and innovative materials committed to creating a better life for all through science.

In Canada, Bayer operates its healthcare business - Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, Animal Health and Radiology & Interventional - from its headquarters in Toronto, ON and Bayer CropScience Inc. operates out of its head office in Calgary, AB. With more than 1,300 employees across the country, in 2012, Bayer had sales of $1.6 billion and invested $55.9 million in research and development in Canada. Globally, Bayer AG had sales of €39.8 billion and invested €3 billion in research and development.

For more information about Bayer, please visit www.bayer.ca.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Bayer Inc.

For further information:

Marija Mandic, 416-240-5376
marija.mandic@bayer.com

Diana Scholz, +49 30 468 193183
diana.scholz@bayer.com