Bayer HealthCare starts special lab space-model CoLaborator™ for promising life science companies

Bayer HealthCare officially opened its new life sciences hub for early stage research companies, dubbed the “CoLaborator™”, in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. The CoLaborator™-approach is to support start-ups in establishing their research labs, with academic researchers spinning out new firms. In addition to lab facilities, access to the global expertise and equipment of Bayer’s research network will be available to CoLaborator-scientists. In return for ready to use lab space and access to its global expertise, Bayer would seek preferred access to partner with the emerging companies.

“San Francisco is the ‘Innovation Capital of the World,’ and the CoLaborator will encourage the growth of innovative research companies and support start-ups that are seeking to develop groundbreaking medical treatments for patients,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee who also attended Bayer HealthCare’s opening event in Mission Bay. “Mission Bay continues to grow as a hub of innovation, and Bayer’s leadership has strengthened this critical growth.”

“The CoLaborator seeks to address the need for new approaches to research partnerships that allow for a collaborative process with shared risks and rewards,” said Prof. Andreas Busch, member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Drug Discovery. “We are aiming to create something beyond the traditional incubator that truly fosters collaboration between Bayer scientists and these exciting young companies.”

The CoLaborator life sciences hub is directly adjacent to Bayer HealthCare’s U.S. Innovation Center located in San Francisco and seeks to work with technology platforms, drug targets or drug candidates that align with Bayer’s research strategy. Bayer continues to expand its collaborative relationships with academic and life sciences firms in California and in other major scientific communities in the U.S. through a dedicated team of scientists at the U.S. Innovation Center. This team is charged with identifying and facilitating collaborations for the company.

Two biotech start-ups Aronora Inc., a company engaged in the development of proprietary antithrombotic therapeutics, and ProLynx LLC, a technology platform company dedicated to the development of linker systems to enable predictable and controllable half-life extension of drugs, now signed on as first tenants of Bayer’s CoLaborator.

“The CoLaborator is an ideal venue for Aronora to pursue our goals and continue to grow,” said Andras Gruber, CEO of Aronora. “It’s an opportunity to work in close physical proximity to Bayer scientists and access to support in preclinical product development, manufacturing and other areas are of particular interest to our company.”

“We look forward to relocating ProLynx to Mission Bay,” said Daniel Santi, M.D., Ph.D., President and founder of ProLynx. “The close proximity to scientists at Bayer and the University of California San Francisco provides a truly exciting collaborative environment for advancing and applying our technology.”

About Aronora, Inc.

Aronora is developing products intended to be used in difficult-to-treat, severe, rapidly progressing, or catastrophic thrombotic blood clotting diseases, including suspected or verified stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, severe infections, and others. Building on the company’s ground-breaking approaches to superior drug safety, Aronora’s product candidates have the potential to become first-in-class medical emergency therapeutics to treat acute thrombotic diseases.

About ProLynx LLC

ProLynx LLC, founded in 2009, is developing a technology platform that overcomes major limitations of releasable linkers currently used in drug conjugation. The technology uses sets of novel linkers that cleave at different, pre-programmed rates to allow the controlled, predictable and sustained release of native, active drugs – peptides, proteins and small molecules – from circulating and fixed macromolecular conjugates.

About Bayer HealthCare

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 17.2 billion (2011), is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55,700 employees (Dec 31, 2011) and is represented in more than 100 countries.