Bayer signs grant agreement to advance innovation in non-hormonal contraception

BayerBayer announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of the grant, Bayer and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have each committed more than US$ 12 million over four years to co-fund pre-clinical research activities with the goal of providing women globally with an option for non-hormonal contraception. In addition to research co-funding over a four-year period, Bayer will leverage its experience in women's healthcare as well as research and development expertise in order to identify a pre-clinical development candidate. Bayer has also committed to make such a product available in low- and lower-middle-income countries at an affordable price once it would have been approved by health authorities.

"The collaboration brings together Bayer's research expertise, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's purpose, to reduce inequalities around the world by facilitating access to health in low- and lower-middle-income countries," said Marianne De Backer, Executive Vice President, Head of Strategy, Business Development & Licensing/Open Innovation and Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer's Pharmaceutical Division. "Together, we aim to further advance our vision to provide highly desired innovative non-hormonal contraceptive options to millions of girls and women around the globe in a sustainable manner."

"Sustainability is an integral part of our business," said Jeanne Kehren, Senior Vice President Digital & Commercial Innovation, Chief Information Officer, as well as responsible for Sustainability and a Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer's Pharmaceutical Division. "With our strong heritage and deeply rooted expertise in women's healthcare, Bayer has been supporting initiatives that contribute to providing girls and women in low- and lower-middle-income countries with access to family planning for more than 50 years. We are proud to work together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and join efforts to expand access to contraceptive options that address the unmet needs of women worldwide."

This new partnership adds to Bayer's commitment focusing on providing innovative science and sustainable solutions to support the individual health needs of women worldwide and to help provide women and girls in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) with access to modern contraception. It's the second joint activity involving both parties in the area of family planning, along with the collaboration on The Challenge Initiative (TCI).

Today, gender inequality remains an ongoing problem and teenage pregnancy and maternal death continue to be a serious health concern, especially in LMICs. Increased choice in modern contraceptive methods that better meet user needs and preferences will enable more women and girls to pursue educational and employment opportunities. Family planning is not only central to women's health but also gives them greater autonomy over their lives, which can have a positive ripple effect on families and communities. With more than 200 million women worldwide having an unmet need for modern contraception, and 130 million women entering reproductive age until 2030 in LMICs, the need to provide reproductive supplies and services will further increase.

As a leader in women's healthcare, Bayer has been supporting rights-based family planning programs in more than 130 countries. In partnership with international organizations, such as the United Nations Population Fund and the United States Agency for International Development, Bayer aims to make modern contraception more accessible to women worldwide. These efforts are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

About Women's Healthcare at Bayer

Bayer is a recognized leader in the area of women’s healthcare, with a long-standing commitment to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative medicines. Bayer offers a wide range of effective short- and long-acting birth control methods as well as therapies for menopause management and gynecological diseases. Bayer is also focusing on innovative options to address the unmet medical needs of women worldwide. Today, Bayer's research and development efforts focus on finding new treatment options for symptoms associated with menopause as well as gynecological diseases and include several compounds in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development. Together, these projects reflect the company’s approach to research, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to alter the way that gynecological diseases are treated. Additionally, Bayer intends to provide 100 million women in low- and lower-middle-income countries by 2030 with access to family planning by funding multi-stakeholder aid programs and by ensuring the supply of affordable modern contraceptives. This is part of the comprehensive sustainability measures and commitments from 2020 onwards and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2021, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 44.1 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 5.3 billion euros.

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