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Bayer, Millennium Expand Deal to Include More Diseases

NEW YORK, Sept. 19 – Bayer and Millennium Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday they had extended their alliance to look for new drug targets to battle thrombosis, urinary incontinence, and benign prostatic hypertrophy. 

The companies, which began working together in 1998 and have until now focused on cardiovascular diseased, cancer, pain, hematology, and viral infections, said they have so far identified more than 140 potential drug targets.

One of the compounds the companies have developed is scheduled to enter clinical testing soon, they said. The companies did not disclose the disease the treatment targets.

"Our current success rate for developing targets into lead structures makes us optimistic that we will reach our goal of 30 development candidates," Wolfgang Hartwig, executive vice president of pharmaceuticals research at Bayer, said in a statement. "Our collaboration has proven that genomic technologies are a successful method of finding new lead structures.”

In return for total payments of up to $465 million over a five-year period, Bayer receives access to key technologies in genome research and a flow of new genomics -based targets for drug development.

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