Monthly Archives: March 2012

Bayer & Tsinghua Partnership Expanded

Beijing, March 27, 2012 – Bayer HealthCare Company Ltd and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, are expanding their joint research partnership relating to the Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center for Innovative Drug Discovery (BTC). This week, both partners signed a new strategic agreement to collaborate in the area of biomedical sciences over the next 3 years.

“The decision to further develop this successful research collaboration underlines Bayer’s commitment to China as an important component of our innovation strategy,” said Prof. Dr. Andreas Busch, Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Drug Discovery.

“The Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center for Innovative Drug Discovery has established itself as an interface to foster communication between leading experts from Tsinghua University’s Institute of Biomedicine and researchers from Bayer HealthCare,” said Prof. Yuan Si, vice president of Tsinghua University.

Headed by Dr. Shi Yigong, Professor and Dean of School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, multiple joint research projects have been initiated at the BTC which was established by Bayer HealthCare and Tsinghua University in 2009. The joint projects focus on different research aspects starting from early research programs to gain deeper understanding of disease mechanisms, identification of new drug targets and spanning further to joint structural biology research and medicinal chemistry programs.

“A new focus of our collaboration will be the area of structural biology, where scientists from Tsinghua University will work in close collaboration with Bayer scientists to solve the 3D protein structure of biological molecular targets as a basis for new drug discovery projects,” said Dr. Shi, who also is a renowned structural biologist.  rest

Biosecurity Challenges

During July 10-13, 2011, 68 participants from 32 countries gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for a workshop organized by the United States National Research Council on Anticipating Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-containment Biological Laboratories. The United States Department of State’s Biosecurity Engagement Program sponsored the workshop, which was held in partnership with the Turkish Academy of Sciences. The international workshop examined biosafety and biosecurity issues related to the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of high-containment biological laboratories- equivalent to United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention biological safety level 3 or 4 labs. Although these laboratories are needed to characterize highly dangerous human and animal pathogens, assist in disease surveillance, and produce vaccines, they are complex systems with inherent risks.

Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-Containment Biological Laboratories (http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13315) summarizes the workshop discussion, which included the following topics:

  • Technological options to meet diagnostic, research, and other goals;
  • Laboratory construction and commissioning;
  • Operational maintenance to provide sustainable capabilities, safety, and security; and
  • Measures for encouraging a culture of responsible conduct.

Workshop attendees described the history and current challenges they face in their individual laboratories. Speakers recounted steps they were taking to improve safety and security, from running training programs to implementing a variety of personnel reliability measures. Many also spoke about physical security, access controls, and monitoring pathogen inventories. Workshop participants also identified tensions in the field and suggested possible areas for action.

RUSNANO and Domain P’ship

RUSNANO and Domain Associates, a U.S. venture capital firm specializing in leading-edge life sciences technologies, today announced a partnership that will spur modernization of the Russian healthcare market by bringing next-generation pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics to Russia.

RUSNANO and Domain have signed an investment agreement under which they will jointly invest in emerging life sciences technology companies, foster transfer of technology into Russia, and establish manufacturing facilities in Russia for production of advanced therapeutic products for the treatment of medical conditions including viral infections, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and others.

RUSNANO and Domain’s venture capital funds will co-invest in approximately 20 US-based healthcare technology companies. Target companies will include groups developing innovative products in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and other areas of life sciences, that have significant applications for patient populations in Russia, and that complement RUSNANO’s focus on nanotechnology-based innovation.  Rest