Portrait Christian Zurth

A Lifetime at Bayer

Dr. Christian Zurth has been working for Bayer for his whole life. Following 25 years in the area of “Women's Healthcare,” he switched to oncology in 2012. Today, he investigates how drugs move through the human body and how to optimize their use.

 

My career path is really rather unusual nowadays. I’ve spent my whole life working for Bayer, and I’ve never been bored. I worked in “Women´s Healthcare” for 25 years until I switched to oncology five years ago. I love learning new things – my curiosity is growing as I get older.

Even after 30 years on the job, I'm still learning new things.
zurth_christian_profile_pic
Dr. Christian Zurth
,
Principal Scientist, Senior Pharmacokinetics Expert

Medicine with Alpha Rays

The most exciting part of my job working in pharmacokinetics is finding out how and where medicines affect the human body. At the moment, I’m working on a medical drug to treat prostate cancer. Its active ingredient is radium dichloride – a radioactive substance that emits alpha rays. This component fights metastases in bones, where 90 percent of prostate cancer metastases are found. That’s exactly where the medicine takes effect. Inside the bones, radium enters the growing metastases by mimicking calcium, and the resulting radioactive decay destroys the dangerous tumor cells. Radium’s radiation is full of energy, but in contrast to gamma rays, alpha rays don’t penetrate very far so they less damage the bones or surrounding tissues. Alpha rays can’t even pass through a piece of paper. The rays also don’t go very far in the bone itself, either, only just to the edge of bone marrow. Consequently, our drug acts very precise, and with that, it produces relatively few side effects.

This is exactly where I belong. My work helps people.
Christian Zurth
,
Principal Scientist, Senior Pharmacokinetics Expert

Tracking the Agents

Along with my team, we conduct clinical trials to investigate the effects and side effects of a drug. My main task within the team is to characterize the path of the active ingredient as it moves to its target location. This includes its degradation and elimination from the body and the influence of disorders, for example, kidney dysfunction, as well as interactions with other medications. Even if a medicine proves to be very effective, but its metabolites cause massive side effects, or are even toxic, we won’t be able to submit it for market approval. We start by testing the effect of a drug on its own. Afterwards, we check whether its effectiveness improves in combination with other compounds, or whether a particular combination produces more side effects. In this way, you might say we offer what’s best for the patient. This makes my job very user-focused, and this motivates me every single day to continue.

 

Christian Zurth

 

My curiosity for new things isn’t limited to my work. On bike trips with my wife, I like to explore Germany’s and Austria’s landscapes. At home, we track and document all of the tours we have done so far. This map is already pretty full, but just like in my professional work, there are still many unknown places to be discovered. On our tours, we always have a destination in mind, but we only go as far as we feel like. We just let the road be our guide though the landscape and to local attractions. That’s relaxation at its best.

 

CV Christian Zurth

1956

Born in Berlin, Germany

1981

Diploma of Biology at “Freie Universität Berlin”

1984

Postdoctoral research in zoology and biochemistry

1984-1986

Scientist for contrast agents, Schering AG, Berlin

1986

Lab Head for Endocrine Therapies, Department Pharmakokinetics, Schering AG, Berlin

1996

Head of working group, Fertility Control and Hormone Therapy, Schering AG, Berlin

1999

Scientific Expert for “Human Kinetics FC/HAT“

2007

Senior Pharmacokinetics Expert in Women’s Healthcare

2012

Principal Scientist, Senior Pharmacokinetics Expert, Clinical Pharmacokinetics Oncology, Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin

 

Selected Publications

Pharmacokinetics of single dose radium-223 dichloride (BAY 88-8223) in Japanese patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bonemetastases.
Ann Nucl Med. 2016 Aug;30(7):453-60. doi: 10.1007/s12149-016-1093-8
Yoshida K, Kaneta T, Takano S, Sugiura M, Kawano T, Hino A, Yamamoto T, Shizukuishi K, Kaneko M, Zurth C, Inoue T

Read on PubMed


Pharmacokinetics of two low-dose levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine systems and effects on ovulation rate and cervical function: pooled analyses of phase II and III studies.
Fertil Steril. 2014 Jun;101(6):1656-62.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.03.004
Apter D, Gemzell-Danielsson K, Hauck B, Rosen K, Zurth C

Read on PubMed


Pharmacokinetics of continuous once-a-week combination 17β-Estradiol/Low- or high-dose levonorgestrel transdermal delivery systems in postmenopausal women.
J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 May;54(5):520-7. doi: 10.1002/jcph.238
Karara AH, Harrison LI, Melikian AP, Poola N, Morrison D, Bourg D, Bourg L, Zurth C.

Read on PubMed

 

Selected Patents

Low-dose transdermal patches with high drug release
WO 2012031999 A2

Read on Google Patents


Oral solid dosage forms containing a low dose of estradiol
WO 2006048261 A2

Read on Google Patents


Magnetic particles for diagnostic purposes.
US 20020064502 A1
EP 186616 A

Read on Google Patents