Big pharma is already head on starting 2017 with a bang. Pfizer and Bayer are launching US-based startups in oncolytic virus and stem cell therapies.
Pharma is wrapping up 2016 by investing in a pair of new ventures. Bayer and Versant have invested $225M to launch BlueRock Therapeutics, which will focus on CNS and cardiovascular diseases. This comes as Novartis is looking to sell off its small molecule-based CNS portfolio, as the field increasingly shifts towards biologicals. Bayer and Versant hope that BlueRock will usher in the next generation of regenerative medicine for diseases affecting the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Given that CNS diseases are marked by neuronal degeneration and CV diseases by muscular degeneration, regenerative medicine seems like the best response. “IPSC technology has the potential to successfully tackle some of the most challenging diseases on this planet,” says Axel Bouchon, head of the Bayer Life Science Center. The cool $225M will give the startup “at least four years of runway…to advance a number of programs into the clinic,” says Bayer.