Bayer is Investing up to Four Billion Dollars in Gene Therapy Specialists

With its largest acquisition to date in the biotech sector, Bayer aims to become a leading player in gene and cell therapy. The Leverkusen-based group is taking over the non-listed US biotech company Asklepios Biopharmaceuticals.

The Leverkusen-based group is thus expanding its position in a promising, albeit difficult, area of ​​modern medicine. Gene therapies are characterized by the fact that they switch off defective genes in the body’s cells and replace them with new genes. The therapy does not take place via chemical or biological agents, as is usual, but starts directly on the human DNA.

Many pharmaceutical companies are intensifying their research in this are hich was founded in 2001, claims to have a particularly broad technology and patent base for gene therapies and, among other things, works on therapies against neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases and rare hereditary diseases. Several of these projects are in the early and mid-stage clinical trials.

Bayer now wants to bring these funds to market maturity together with the US company, which will remain independent. Half of the purchase price for Ask Bio is due immediately, the remaining two billion dollars flow depending on various development successes over the next few years.

Management sends two signals
With the takeover, the company from Leverkusen is sending out two signals: On the one hand, they expect new drugs with great sales potential to strengthen the pharmaceuticals division. After all, Bayer will lose patent protection for important drugs in the next five years, especially the current blockbuster, the anticoagulant Xarelto.


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