Lion Bioscience AG (Heidelberg, Germany) and Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany) have entered into a five-year i-biology alliance that will use an IT-based management system to improve Bayer's gene and drug-discovery efforts. Through the alliance, a new research subsidiary called Lion (Cambridge, MA) will be created. Bayer's investment in the alliance is estimated to be US $100 million.
New Subsidiary (Back to Top)
Lion will develop and apply new ultra-high-throughput IT systems that identify and validate new drug targets, gene expression markers, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Bayer will fund all R&D programs at the subsidiary. In year five, Bayer will have the exclusive option to "spin-in" the subsidiary as part of the Bayer group.
Over the next five years, Lion will deliver to Bayer 500 new target genes, 70 new annotations on existing Bayer-owned gene targets, and an undisclosed number of gene expression markers and SNPs. All targets will be identified and validated using the IT systems that will be developed. The resulting information will be globally accessible to Bayer's scientists via an Intranet system to facilitate seamless, immediate applications.
Bayer will receive exclusive rights to targets and markers identified through the alliance. Lion Bioscience will retain the rights to all IT and software developments achieved at the subsidiary. Bayer will receive unlimited, non-exclusive access to all software and IT-developments. These systems will be implemented at Bayer's worldwide research sites.
"The policy to acquire external intelligence, to implement it into Bayer, and apply it for our life science research will strengthen our competitiveness," says Manfred Schneider, head of the executive board of Bayer. "Already today, life science yields more than half of our total revenues and this percentage will further increase."
Reinhard Schneider will run the new subsidiary. A team of more than 20 IT-systems developers, software engineers, and bioinformaticians will be hired.
I-Biology (Back to Top)
I-biology is the term used for this interdisciplinary approach to integrate data, information, hardware, and software for research in the life sciences. In contrast to bioinformatics, which represents only computational biology, i-biology stands for an integrated approach that brings applied scientists and bioinformaticians together. Bayer and Lion Bioscience believe that this approach is crucial for uniting the fragmented life science research that has been developed by specialized researchers around the world.
Lion Bioscience AG is a leading genomics and information technology company that has pioneered the field of i-biology for life-science research. Founded in 1997, the company has more than 150 employees and subsidiaries in Cambridge, UK, and Cambridge, MA. The company leverages its core competencies in information technology and genomics to accelerate and improve the discovery efforts of its partners.
Bayer AG is an international research-based group with major businesses in life sciences, polymers, and specialty chemicals. With 145,100 employees worldwide, the group recorded sales of DM 54.9 billion in 1998. For the current year a record DM 4.3 billion is budgeted for R&D.
For more information, call Michael Diehl of Bayer AG at (+)49-214-30-58532, or call Claus Kremoser of Lion Bioscience AG at (+) 49-6221-4038-133