Business / Industries

Bayer strives to improve lives with innovative products

By Yang Cheng (China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-12 07:56

While people, animals and plants differ considerably in appearance, the differences in their underlying "blueprints" are not all that dramatic. In the human population, 99.5 to 100 percent of all genes are identical. Only minimal sequence differences exist, which make people unique.

Humans even share more than 90 percent of their DNA with cats and as much as half with fruit flies. The almost 20 percent of genes that humans have in common with plants offer new starting points for research projects, which are developed in interdisciplinary collaborations within the Bayer Group in the areas of common mechanisms of action and platform technologies.

One research project dealing with energy production in cells has already shown initial success. It started with three new product families for treating fungal infections in plants (fungicides).

A team of researchers used them as a basis for developing the new nematicide Velum/Verango, which protects crops against nematodes in the soil and was launched in the market this year.

Infection with a wide variety of worm species is also a problem in livestock and pets, so animal health researchers are trying to identify potential active ingredients with the same action mechanism.

It was also discovered that this method of energy production in cells may also be relevant in the growth of cancer cells.

Bayer researchers succeeded in demonstrating in vitro that specific types of melanoma react sensitively to the inhibition of the mitochondrial energy supply. "This is a perfect example of the synergies among the life sciences," Malik said.

Another building block of Bayer's innovation activities is external partnerships.

Malik pointed out that the company's health care and crop science maintain some 850 partnerships worldwide.

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