Bayer acquires Asklepios to advance gene therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

October 26, 2020 -- Bayer has agreed to pay $2 billion to acquire Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio), a U.S.-based biotechnology company specializing in gene therapies.

AskBio is investigating preclinical and clinical adeno-associated virus (AAV) candidates to explore treatments for neuromuscular, cardiovascular, metabolic, and central nervous system diseases. The acquisition adds AAV therapies research to Bayer's portfolio.

Bayer agreed to pay $2 billion in upfront consideration and up to another $2 billion of success-based milestone payments to acquire AskBio. Bayer will fully own AskBio's gene therapy platform, including the company's intellectual property portfolio and its contract development and manufacturing organization.

The acquisition strengthens Bayer's commitment to cell and gene therapy, according to the company. Bayer also said the deal also complements its 2019 acquisition of BlueRock Therapeutics, which allowed the firm to create platforms that affect multiple therapeutic areas.

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