Bayer has expanded a drug discovery research partnership with Recursion Pharmaceuticals in the precision oncology sector.

Bayer will commence work on the detection of new treatment targets in oncology indications with increasing unmet needs.

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The alliance will utilise the small molecule compound library and capabilities of Bayer in biology and medicinal chemistry, and Recursion’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered drug discovery platform.

The parties may launch up to seven oncology programmes.

Recursion is entitled to receive development and commercial milestone payments of $1.5bn, along with royalty payments on future net product sales. 

Bayer will have the option to obtain an exclusive licence for new therapies emerging from the research partnership. 

The partnership will also strengthen Bayer’s early pipeline in precision oncology.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals division head of business development, licensing and open innovation Juergen Eckhardt stated: “The methodology in which Recursion uses AI in drug discovery could be one of the most disruptive technologies of our time. 

“As our collaboration and the usage of AI continue to evolve, we look forward to continuing to work with industry innovators to identify novel targets for oncology indications.”

Earlier this month, Bayer expanded a research partnership with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the US by five years to further develop therapies for cancer.

This content was updated on 25 January 2024