Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Bayer have launched a joint lab for research of new drug candidates to treat chronic lung diseases.

This lab will include experts from all three healthcare entities.

Over the next five years, Bayer has allocated an investment of over $30m to fund the joint research projects.

Chronic lung disease is a wider term used for several diseases of the airways and other structures of the lung, including COPD, which is the third leading cause of death worldwide. About 65 million people suffer from COPD and three million people die from it every year.

For joint research, BWH Channing Division of Network Medicine chief Edwin Silverman,  BWH pulmonary and critical care medicine chief Bruce Levy; MGH pulmonary and critical care chief Benjamin Medoff;  Bayer head of preclinical research for lung diseases Markus Koch will collaborate.

Bayer pharmaceuticals division’s member of the executive committee and head of research and development Joerg Moeller said: “This strategic collaboration complements our in-house research and will bring us closer to providing life-changing treatment options for patients living with chronic lung diseases.The joint lab concept continues to be an innovative model for collaboration between academia and industry, enabling novel approaches to drug discovery.”

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Brigham and Women’s Hospital SVP and chief academic officer Paul Anderson said: “We strongly believe that this model will significantly accelerate the pace of discovery toward the goal of getting new therapies from the lab to patients safely and efficiently. This collaboration provides the opportunity to integrate novel findings directly into the drug development pipeline, thus speeding up the time to move a new treatment into the clinic.”

Experts will combine Bayer’s capabilities in drug discovery and development with the complementary clinical expertise to understand disease mechanisms. They will also draw data analysis capabilities and insights from leading physician-scientists of BWH and MGH.

The new lab is located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area.