Long-term relationship

Genedata expands research informatics partnership with Bayer Schering Pharma

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BERLIN—Building on its 10-year research informatics partnership with Bayer HealthCare, bioinformatics solutions provider Genedata AG will provide enterprise software platforms for research data integration and analysis across Bayer Schering Pharma's global sites, the companies announced last month.

Under the agreement, Genedata will deliver a software solution for characterizing targets and biomarkers at multiple Bayer Schering sites in Germany and the United States. The solution aims to consolidate disparate datasets and systems across multiple locations, functions and projects.

Bayer declined to be interviewed for this story, but in a statement released by the company, Dr. Andreas Busch, head of global drug discovery at Bayer HealthCare, said Genedata's software will streamline Bayer's target and biomarker research program. Biomarkers will help identify compounds likely to be effective at later drug development stages, enabling Bayer to focus on the most promising therapeutic leads, Busch said.

"Genedata have helped resolve bottlenecks in our research processes, an achievement reflecting their sound grasp of drug discovery," Busch said in the statement, commenting on what began as a small, three-month project for a specific therapeutic area in 1998 and evolved into a collaboration on several software programs over the course of the last decade.

Genedata CEO Dr. Othmar Pfannes says the company's work with Bayer had a huge impact on the company, and the close collaborative effort between it and Big Pharma is now a hallmark of Genedata's business model.

"Building this kind of relationship takes time, and because each side needs to give up some amount of proprietary information, you also need to build up trust," Pfannes says. "Our partnership with Bayer is a good example of how scientists and IT people can work together to define standards and create certain basic concepts. What we observe right now in the market is that Big Pharma is under a lot of pressure to focus on the things they do well, and software development is not something management thinks they do well. So they turn to us because we work like an in-house group, but are still an outside company." DDN

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