Bayer Partners with MassBio® to Launch Joint Mentoring Program to Support Startups in China and Asia

Jun 15, 2020

June 15, 2020 (BEIJING, CHINA) – Bayer and MassBio® today announced the launch of Bayer-MassCONNECT Asia to foster the startup community in Asia with a special focus on China. This program will provide formal mentorship to local early-stage entrepreneurs and academic investigators in life sciences and connect them to expert resources and the knowledge base in the leading biomedical cluster in Massachusetts. BayerMassCONNECT Asia will focus on accelerating the development of therapies to fill unmet medical needs and benefit patients.

“As a global pharmaceutical company, Bayer is committed to fostering innovation through our partnerships worldwide and the collaboration with MassBio is one of our key initiatives,” said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development. “Working together with a strong startup community is a key factor for future success of the biopharma industry. We are pleased to extend our partnership with MassBio to launch this joint mentoring program for early-stage entrepreneurs in Asia, where we see a huge potential for innovation.”

Bayer-MassCONNECT Asia is a part of MassBio’s MassCONNECT® program, the premier mentoring program that is solely dedicated to life sciences. MassCONNECT matches entrepreneurs and founders with seasoned life sciences professionals to catalyze and commercialize early-stage innovation.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Bayer on this initiative, which reinforces Bayer’s exceptional commitment to MassCONNECT and open innovation and highlights MassBio’s belief that innovation will span borders and patients don’t care where a therapy comes from,” said John Hallinan, Chief Business Officer, MassBio. “Many early-stage startups have a limited understanding of the process by which research is translated to the clinic and transformed into therapies. By integrating our mentoring expertise with Bayer’s strong presence in Asia, this joint initiative will accelerate the trajectory of entrepreneurs and optimize their valiant efforts to develop novel therapies on behalf of patients.”

The Bayer-MassCONNECT Asia program will provide 4-weeks of mentorship, where industry experts guide selected entrepreneurs as they seek to develop business plans, launch companies, and raise capital. Entrepreneurs gain invaluable advice and coaching on defining their value proposition, developing pitches, and building professional networks.

“At Bayer, China is as an integral part of our global innovation network. We are excited to introduce this joint mentoring program to support growth of the local innovation ecosystem in China,” said Dr. Pei Sze Ng, Head of Open Innovation Center China at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, “This program is another reflection of Bayer’s commitment to advancing local innovation capabilities in China.”

In 2009, Bayer Pharmaceuticals established the Open Innovation Center China as one of its global innovation hubs. Over the past decade, the company has consistently strengthened its strategic partnerships with leading Chinese academic institutions, such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, and the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, to accelerate the translation of fundamental research into clinical treatment and foster China’s drug innovation and R&D capabilities. In addition, Bayer has established collaborations with Chinese pharmaceutical companies and biotech start-ups, such as, CStone Pharmaceuticals and Hope Medicine, to complement in-house expertise with external know-how to develop innovative treatment options.

About MassBio
MassBio’s mission is to advance Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system, and improve patient lives. MassBio represents the premier global life sciences and healthcare hub, with 1,300+ members dedicated to preventing, treating, and curing diseases through transformative science and technology that brings value and hope to patients. Founded in 1985, MassBio works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs, events, industry information, and services. For more information, visit

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 benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to

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