Bayer Healthcare has expanded a deal with Tsinghua University of Beijing, China, to research innovative medicines until 2015.
The deal extends an existing partnership, established in 2009, which has led to multiple joint research projects as part of the Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center for Innovative Drug Discovery(BTC).
“The decision to further develop this successful research collaboration underlines Bayer's commitment to China as an important component of our innovation strategy,” said Professor Andreas Busch, head of global drug discovery at Bayer.
As part of the expanded partnership, research will widen to include structural biology, with Tsinghua students to work with Bayer scientists to investigate the 3D protein structure of biological molecules identified as drug targets.
Bayer will also install Dr Dong Chen as the company's first endowed chair at Tsinghua's Institute of Biomedicine.
“The establishment serves as another example for Bayer´s commitment to support world class research achievements,” said Dr Jennifer Hu, head of global drug discovery at Bayer Healthcare's innovation centre in China.
Further academic collaborations exist with Tongji University where Bayer funds the university's chair for sustainable development, and the China-Europe International Business School, where the company endows the chair for marketing and strategy.
Other ongoing research partnerships between Bayer and China include an agreement with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which aims to improve academic exchange in R&D and to improve mutual access to research facilities.
German-based Bayer has also spoken of its intent to improve sales in China, in addition to expanding its R&D efforts.
In November 2011, the group outlined targets for its Asia business that include increasing its revenues in China by 60 per cent to €11bn within the next four years.