Bayer Healthcare: Christoph Geserick




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Video title: Bayer Healthcare: Christoph Geserick
Released on: February 28, 2013. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, filmed at BioEurope 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, Fintan Walton talks to Christoph Geserick, Director Early Licensing at Bayer Healthcare
Opportunities in early stage licensing
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BioEurope, in Hamburg, in 2012. On this show I have Christoph Geserick, who is Director of Early Stage Licensing at Bayer Healthcare , welcome.
Christoph Geserick:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
As Director of Early Licensing what is the exact remit that you have and what I mean by that obviously is that from the early stages of discovery all the way through to preclinical or how would you define early licensing?
Christoph Geserick:
So our research at Bayer is really looking in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical need, and our responsibility at early licensing is really to find innovation out there and bring it into our company and to work together with our research and their the research of the partners to develop this on and that can be as early as a drug target or sometimes even a technology but goes all the way long to drug discovery, be it an antibody or small molecule, and then even preclinical development as well as early phases of development.
Fintan Walton:
Right, and at that stage that some companies and some organizations find it difficult to get funding, so what's your impression then of the quality of licensing opportunities that exist at an early stage?
Christoph Geserick:
So I believe or I think there are quite a high number of very good quality innovation opportunities out there, what we see as most crucial when we first evaluate such an opportunity is really that you have a very good scientific data and that you also have a solid IP position, and if these two aspects are met I think then it's really worthwhile to continue discussions. What I find more as a challenge is to really find good opportunities in very specialized areas, for example endometriosis, or hematology, or even ophthalmology.
Fintan Walton:
Right, indeed, and of course in your search, your search is worldwide?
Christoph Geserick:
Absolutely. So we are a global company and therefore also our responsibility is to look worldwide.
Fintan Walton:
Right, and how do you do that, it's not just purely down to you I presume, its other people within your organization that assist?
Christoph Geserick:
Yes, so early licensing, where I am in, is embedded in the Global Business Development and licensing organization at Bayer, so we have also colleagues covering the later stages of licensing, and we also have at Bayer Healthcare colleagues that cover consumer care, some for animal health and also medical care.
Fintan Walton:
Right and it's through that combined organization that you get access to some of these early stage?
Christoph Geserick:
Yes, so we all help out each other, but the real responsibility for the early stage projects lies within early licensing.
Therapy areas of focus
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So Christoph, what are the therapy areas that you are focused on?
Christoph Geserick:
So at Bayer we are really focusing on therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, so what we really chose is oncology, cardiology, gynecological therapies, and also hematology, and we are also now looking into ophthalmology and for all these areas of course we are interested also in partners and in partnering, because we want to be together with the potential partners, innovation leaders in these areas.
Bayer Healthcare's role in emerging markets
Fintan Walton:
Okay, and the other element to this of course is the emerging markets, so where, how is Bayer placed in terms of its position in relation to the emerging markets?
Christoph Geserick:
So for Bayer the emerging markets are really of high importance and that's can also been seen that we are already strong in the emerging markets, for example in Asia, and in particular China we have history of more than 100 years in the market there, and I think that emerging markets will become more and more important, we have a growing population there, we have a population that gets elder, that's aging there, and we have a growing affluence there. So all this will create a demand for new healthcare solutions and I think we as Bayer are very well set up to deliver innovation and we are also interested in partners to partner in these markets and areas to really jointly do these efforts.
Fintan Walton:
Now as you said you work globally, obviously innovation has been well established in the developed world, when we look like at the emerging markets like China you have personally had some experience in dealing with one of the innovations centers that Bayer had set up in China, could you tell me a little bit about that and what that experience was?
Christoph Geserick:
Yes so I was part of setting up the innovation centre in China, in Beijing and was there also involved in the ongoing collaboration we have with the Tsinghua University, in Beijing, in China, [PharmaDeals ID = 46162] and in this collaboration we jointly work on our drug targets as well as drug discovery and as an Alliance Manager I had to take care of this alliance obviously, and I was really impressed on the research and the work that has been done there.
Deal with Evotec
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so obviously when you are doing deals you have to find good organizations to do those deals with, recently you did a deal with Evotec, could you tell us a little bit about that deal [PharmaDeals ID = 48880]?
Christoph Geserick:
Yes so in October, 2012 we did a collaboration or a started a collaboration with Evotec on endometriosis [PharmaDeals ID = 48880]. Endometriosis is a disease that affects 150 million women worldwide, so that's 10% of all women in reproductive age, and unfortunately so far there is no cure for this disease and all the available treatments have limitations. So with Evotec we were really lucky now to combine our strengths, so we put together our drug targets, we put together our expertise and also our high quality technologies we have, and we will work really jointly together in research at these early stages to tackle this disease and we will this Evotec in the very early research but also in preclinical development work together, later on Bayer will take over the development and commercialization, and our aim is really in five-years to bring three new clinical candidates into the clinical phases, and even though it's very early times I am quite impressed on how good its running and how well it's working.
Bayer Healthcare's strengths and partnership strategy
Fintan Walton:
Very good, and just in terms of general terms of trying to find suitable opportunities you've mentioned earlier how difficult it is sometimes to find those specialized areas, so how important is the development internal to your own organization so that you have sufficient inside Bayer, so you have sufficient knowledge about what's happening externally so you actually do those sort of deals, so in other words to build expertise in a particular area you still have to practice at internal to the, internally to Bayer itself, is that correct?
Christoph Geserick:
Yes so we of course we have our internal capabilities and we are very strong in the fields of research we picked as well as in the development of these areas and that's where we have the expertise, but you always need also innovation coming from the outside, so we really want to join the strengths of our company with the strengths of these collaboration organizations to combine it and become even more innovative then.
Fintan Walton:
So Christoph, how does Bayer compete with all the other pharmaceutical companies? What makes Bayer special that a company would say 'yes, we wanted to do a deal with Bayer'?
Christoph Geserick:
Yes like the other pharma companies we are very much interested in partnering, and we can offer really the strengths in research in development and our capabilities in marketing and sales to partners. As I just mentioned we are very strong in the emerging markets, so that's also something other partners could be interested in, but I think we are also very much interested in early licensing, in early stage of deals, this can be as soon or as early as drug discovery, this drug targets, starting even this drug targets, so I think that's something that's especially for smaller companies of interest or even academia. We are also in deal wise we are believing very strongly in tailor made deals, so we do not so much believe in the one size fits all the kind of deal structure, because we believe that for a single project, for a single partner you have to have really the tailor made right deal so that both sides get the benefit out of that, and get a beneficial business opportunity out of this.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, and in terms of the future for licensing in your organization, how much, how important is working closely with, say for an example venture capital groups, because they are obviously investing in some of the early stage companies as well, how important is it for Bayer to work closely with venture capital, the companies who are actually investing in these companies as well?
Christoph Geserick:
So we've in licensing worked together very closely with all the kinds of these important partners be it biotech's, academia, or venture capital companies. So I think all are important to really be successful on in partnering.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Christoph, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Christoph Geserick:
Thank you very much.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Christoph Geserick
Director
At the time of recording this PTV interview Christoph Geserick serves as Director Early Licensing at Bayer HealthCare. Dr. Christoph Geserick is currently working in Early Licensing group which is part of the Global Business Development & Licensing organization at Bayer HealthCare. In this role he is responsible for the entire partnering process dealing with Pharma, Biotech and Academia. Prior to the current position, Christoph was instrumental in setting up Bayer HealthCare's Innovation Center China (ICC) in Beijing. He initiated research collaborations in China and acted as alliance manager for the Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center for Innovative Drug Discovery. From 2005 until joining the ICC, he held the position of a Director at the Office of Technology at Bayer, based in Berlin, Germany. From 2003 to 2005 Christoph was a scientific staff member at the Spanish National Cancer Center (CNIO) in Madrid, Spain, in the laboratory of Dr. Maria Blasco. Christoph received his PhD in Biochemistry at the Freie Universitat Berlin in cooperation with the former Schering AG. Before that he had prepared his diploma thesis at the pharmaceutical company NovoNordisk A/S in Copenhagen, Denmark, working on the expression of antibodies and blood clotting factors. Previously to that he studied Biology at the University of T"bingen in Germany and at the University of Sussex in Great Britain. Christoph has published several scientific articles and patents.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
Bayer Healthcare AG
Bayer Healthcare AG manufactures products to diagnose, prevent, and treat human and animal disease worldwide. The company operates through four divisions: Animal Health, Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Care, and Medical Care. The Animal Health division offers Advantage for dogs and cats; products against ticks; drugs to treat infectious diseases in livestock and companion animals; products to control endoparasites in pets; and Baycox to control coccidia problems in farm animals. It sells its products through veterinarians, pharmacies, and retail stores. The Pharmaceuticals division provides general and specialty medicines for multiple sclerosis, hormonal contraceptive, hemophilia, cancer, hypertension, hormonal contraceptive, respiratory tract infections, erectile dysfunction, cardiovascular, diabetes, and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. It sells its products through wholesalers, pharmacies, and hospitals. The Consumer Care division offers analgesics, gastrointestinal products, dermatological/topical products, cough and cold remedies, and multivitamins and dietary supplements. It sells its products through pharmacies, supermarket chains, and other large retailers. The Medical Care division provides blood glucose monitoring devices, such as single-strip Contour systems and the multi-strip Breeze systems; contrast agent injection systems for diagnostic and therapeutic medical procedures in computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and molecular imaging; and mechanical systems to remove thrombi from blood vessels. It sells its products to consumers through pharmacies, drugstores, mass merchants, hospitals, and wholesalers. Bayer HealthCare AG offers research/development services. It has a strategic partnership with Medsintez. The company was founded in 1863 and is based in Leverkusen, Germany with locations in Monheim and Berlin, Germany; Morristown, New Jersey; and Tarrytown, New York. Bayer HealthCare AG operates as a subsidiary of Bayer AG.