Bayer Boosts Gene Therapy Presence With AskBio Buy
Deal Could Be Worth $4bn
After buying BlueRock Therapeutics outright last year, the Leverkusen-headquartered group has put down $2bn up front to acquire another cell and gene therapy specialist in Asklepios BioPharmaceutical.
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Companies such as Novartis, Roche or Takeda are heavily invested in the advanced therapeutics field, usually spreading their bets across multiple modalities. The remaining challenges offer opportunities for the next wave of innovation to transform the field once again and make a dent in the larger market of common diseases and solid tumors.
Nearly a year into the job, research chief Christian Rommel tells Scrip he is impressed with Bayer's arm's length approach to running acquired firms like AskBio and BlueRock and the task ahead is to deliver on the potential they offer, while getting later-stage projects across the approvals finishing line.
The German major will collaborate with the US biotech to develop CRISPR gene-editing therapies, solidifying its interest in next-generation therapeutics.