About Bayer in Austria

Three pictures of people running in a field.

Bayer is an innovative company with a more than 150-year history and core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture.


Approximately 230 employees in Austria are responsible for marketing, sales, technical and medical consulting for Bayer products, and clinical trials. Since 2009, the Vienna office has overseen the South East Europe country group, which comprises Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

Through its pilot projects and its role at the helm of the South East Europe country group, our site in Austria helps put the “Science For A Better Life” mission statement into practice and contribute to ensuring that one day Bayer's vision, "Health for all, hunger for none” comes to reality. (Bayer Austria site in Herbststrasse, Vienna. Image rights Bayer Austria)

Bayer Austria actively promotes a diverse and inclusive corporate culture. Internal Business Resource Groups such as BLEND and ENABLE also support the implementation of ideas and projects in Austria. We welcome and support the diversity and uniqueness of our employees and see this as valuable potential.

Learn more about inclusion & diversity on the global Bayer website.

Group of researchers

The history of Bayer in Austria starts at the location Hegelgasse, Vienna, in 1898. It was at this address that “Farbenfabrikenvorm. Friedrich Bayer & Co” opened a small sales company distributing dyestuffs and pharmaceuticals that was managed by businessmen Karl Overhoff and Ferdinand Mireau.

The Vienna office was opened at a time of turbulent change in industry, when major discoveries and developments were coming to light that are still shaping the world to this day. Farbenfabriken, which had been established in 1863 as a trading company under the name “Friedrich Bayer et. Comp” and was headquartered in Elberfeld (Wuppertal, Germany), was entering a revolutionary sector. The company’s founders, Friedrich Bayer, who was a businessman, and Friedrich Weskott, who owned a cotton-dyeing business, were manufacturing synthetic dyes from coal tar. The founders began producing a red dye at their alizarin factory in Elberfeld in 1872 but achieved a decisive breakthrough when they developed their azo dyes, which considerably surpassed their predecessors in terms of luminosity and versatility. The world became colorful. In 1881, the sales company changed its name for the first time – to “Farbenfabrikenvorm. Friedrich Bayer & Co”.


In 1927, pharmaceutical operations were transferred to the newly established “Vedepha” (an abbreviation of the German for “selling German pharmaceuticals”), which was renamed “Pharmabüro Bayer” in 1938. “Pharmabüro Bayer” also took over the distribution of crop protection products.


After the Second World War, in 1946, “ChemiaChemikalienhandelsgesellschaftm.b.H.” was established to distribute the products of Farbenfabriken Bayer AG – with the exception of Bayer pharmaceuticals. “Pharmabüro Bayer”, which became “Photopharm” in 1948, handled pharmaceuticals operations for Bayer and was renamed Bayer Pharma Ges.m.b.H. In 1967.


In 1970, Bayer Austria Ges.m.b.H. was established as a 100 percent holding of Chemia and took over sales activities for Bayer products. Bayer Pharma merged with Bayer Austria in 1985, combining Bayer’s most important areas of activity under one roof. In 1991, both companies – Chemia and Bayer Austria – were consolidated.
Bayer took over the crop protection arm of Aventis in 2002. In October of the same year, Bayer CropScience AG became a legally independent company, and its broad product portfolio made it a leading global company for crop protection, environmental science, biotechnology and seeds.


By 2005, the next round of mergers was taking place. The highly successful Consumer Care department of Bayer Austria and Consumer Health department of Roche Austria became the new Bayer Consumer Care unit. Over the course of reorganization at the Bayer Group in the same year, most of the chemicals activities and about a third of the plastics operations of Bayer were hived off to the newly established LANXESS Group.


In 2007, the operations of Schering were integrated into the pharmaceutical division of Bayer in Austria, bringing diagnostic imaging, general medicine, specialty medicine and women’s healthcare to the Bayer Group. As a result, headcount continued to grow and the office buildings at Vienna’s LerchenfelderGürtel, which had been home to Bayer’s operations in Austria for some 20 years, became too small. Bayer staff and the former employees of Schering were thus relocated to Herbststrasse, 1160 Vienna.


In October 2009, Bayer established the South East Europe (SEE) country group, which comprises Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. The country group has since been overseen from Vienna.

Bayer Austria GmbH/APA-Fotoservice/Hörmandinger

Bayer Austria GmbH/APA- Fotoservice/Hörmandinger

Since October 2020 Lieven Hentschel is the Managing Director of Bayer Austria and Senior Bayer Representative for the SEE Region. In addition, he is heading the Pharmaceuticals Division in Austria since July 2020. Lieven Hentschel brings international experience and global market knowledge from various senior positions in different countries as well as Pharma headquarters into his new role at Bayer Austria.

Scientist looking at a test tube

Research plays a major role at our Austrian site. Bayer in Austria is particularly active in identifying and developing new active substances. Clinical trials are currently underway in Austria in the areas of cardiology, oncology, hematology and ophthalmology.


Research as an opportunity

Clinical trials have numerous benefits. For example, participating in a clinical trial is often the only way that seriously ill patients who have exhausted all other treatment options can access a treatment with new drugs that have not yet been licensed. Meanwhile, the doctors who are taking part can expand their expertise, jobs are safeguarded and Austria’s reputation as a location for research is boosted as well.


Our pursuit of transparency

Transparency is important to us, as it helps us build a bridge between the public and our scientists. That is why Bayer is committed to providing public access to information about its planned and ongoing clinical trials and trial results for patients, regardless of whether certain results are positive or negative for our products. Naturally, all this takes place within the framework of global pharmaceutical industry associations and the corresponding laws and regulations.
Bayer is also committed to sharing patient data from trials with expert researchers so as to enhance transparency, improve medical expertise and promote scientific discovery. To protect patient privacy, data is shared in full accordance with international standards.

 Data from Bayer trials can be accessed through the "Bayer Trial Finder".