Novel targets for drug development

Join us in developing new therapeutic approaches for diseases with high unmet medical needs.
Apply for funding to promote your research and explore novel targets for drug development.


Submission ends March 31st, 2019

What we are funding

We are offering grants for researchers investigating novel drug targets in the fields of the indications listed below to promote innovative therapeutic ideas from basic research into novel drugs.

We provide financial support to test your hypothesis, start or extend your present research activities.

We are looking for novel targets for the following indications:

Focus on oncogenic signaling.

Focus on novel treatment options for endometriosis (incl. adenomyosis uteri/endometriosis interna), uterine fibroids (uterine leiomyoma) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Focus on Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Heart Failure, Peripheral Artery Disease, Cardioprotective mechanisms.

Focus on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Interstitial Lung Disease, COPD- Frequent Exacerbators, Chronic Cough, Pulmonary Hypertension.

Focus on Hypertensive Nephropathy, Diabetic Kidney Disease, Acute Kidney Injury, Chronic Allograft Nephropathy, Polycystic Kidney Disease

Focus on Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, DIC, SIRS, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation, Venous Thrombosis, Hemophilia A


What is a Target?

  • Target must be a nucleic acid or a protein (e.g. an enzyme, a receptor) whose activity can be modified by a drug (drug can be a small-molecular-weight chemical compound or a biological, such as an antibody or a recombinant protein)
  • Target should have shown to be effective/mechanistically involved in the disease by relevant in vitro or in vivo models
  • Target is disease-modifying and/or has a proven function in the pathophysiology of a disease

Your Benefits

Financial Support

There are two types of grants, that will be allocated by Bayer depending on the target, the scientific data provided and the maturity of the proposal.

Support grants (€ 5,000 - €10,000)*
For druggable targets that are at a very early stage of discovery.

Focus grants (€ 10,000 - €125,000)*
For more mature ideas, e.g. to address specific aspects of a target as a first step towards transferring it to the drug discovery process.

* The size of the individual grant will depend on the target specifics and the phase of development and validation.


  • The decision on grant allocation is made at the sole and absolute discretion of Bayer.
  • The applicant will retain ownership of any intellectual property he or she develops.
  • Special conditions may apply for proprietary targets and the in-licensing of targets.
Grants may be complemented by
Small Molecule Tool

Within Bayer´s Compound Collection, we may have chemical probes to support your target validation efforts. Please indicate in your application which requirements potential tool compounds should fulfill.


Bayer‘s R&D focusses on identifying and developing novel drugs (including antibodies and antibody derivatives) for treating diseases with high unmet medical need. We are committed to innovation and to translating initial ideas from basic research into novel drugs. Complementing our internal efforts, we are dedicated to fostering collaborations with academic groups, start-up and biotech companies.

Technology platforms

We can offer access to different technologies to assist in your target validation, e.g. gene expression profiling or other state-of-the-art research technologies. Please detail your research interest for the technology platforms in the online submission.

Further Collaboration

Successful projects supported by the grant may lead to further collaboration.

Application Process


Grant applications can only be submitted via the online submission platform ScholarOne™.
As first step, you’ll have to create an account in the Grants4Targets Submission central.

Deadline 31st of March 2019

You’ll need to submit an abstract describing your idea and target, its characteristics and a separate description of its therapeutic potential.

Please note that only non-confidential information should be provided.

6 - 8 weeks after deadline

The information provided will be evaluated by Bayer scientific experts. The decision on amount of funding is dependent on the specific target and research plan proposed.

From October 2019

Successful applicants will be notified by Bayer and will receive further instructions concerning the grant. A Bayer caretaker will be in contact with you during the grant period.

Ready, Set, Submit

To submit, you will be redirected to ScholarOne™ online submission platform. All the information provided has to be non-confidential to allow a first evaluation of the proposal.

Please include the following information in your submission:

Describe your idea and target, its characteristics (indication and treatment paradigm, the target´s druggability, and patent status).

Please indicate in the abstract if any particular data can only be disclosed under a Confidential Disclosure Agreement (CDA). In case your application is considered for further evaluation, we may contact you to discuss a CDA.

To assist in the grant allocation, the proposal should include a detailed description of the target proposed, the phase of discovery, and further research plans.

This information can be provided as PDF-Documents which can be attached to the application.

These supplements are to assist the scientific reviewers. The publications attached do not necessarily have to originate from yourself / your research group. Please attach the most relevant publications describing the target and its functional relevance for the indicated disease.

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