Bayer establishes Cell and Gene Therapy Platform to accelerate pharmaceutical innovation
Cell and Gene Therapy Platform (C& GT) to drive groundbreaking science delivering breakthrough innovative treatments for patients / New Platform will steer strategically and orchestrate all activities along the value chain / Bayer’s C& GT pipeline already comprises five advanced assets and over fifteen preclinical candidates / Acquisition of Asklepios Biopharmaceutical successfully closed on December 1, 2020 / Wolfram Carius appointed Head of Bayer’s new C& GT Platform
Berlin, December 2, 2020 - Bayer AG announced today the launch of a Cell and Gene Therapy (C>) Platform within its Pharmaceuticals division. Through this strategic platform, the company further consolidates its emerging leadership in the field and takes a deeply transformative step for its business.
"This is a defining moment for Bayer. Cell and gene therapies are leading innovation in healthcare, and it is our goal to be at the forefront of this revolution in science," said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG and President Pharmaceuticals Division. "The C> field is growing at an unprecedented pace. With the establishment of Bayer’s own C> Platform our company will propel its presence in this area. This will complement our existing C> pipeline which already includes five advanced assets with at least three investigational new drugs annually for the next years."
In order to build up its presence in C>, Bayer is strengthening its internal C> capabilities. At the same time, the company is pursuing external strategic collaborations, technology acquisitions and licensing. The goal is to build robust platforms with broad application across different therapeutic areas. For example, Bayer has just acquired an industry-leading contract manufacturing organization in gene therapy. Together with Bayer’s expertise and recent investments in product supply capabilities, this will contribute to fill an important global demand gap for development and manufacturing of gene therapies.
Strategically, Bayer focuses on selected areas of C>, such as stem cell therapies (with focus on induced pluripotent cells or iPSCs), gene augmentation, gene editing and allogeneic cell therapies in different indications. With the acquisition of BlueRock Therapeutics in 2019 and the recent acquisition of Asklepios Biopharmaceutical, successfully closed on December 1, 2020, the first partners are integrating into Bayer’s C> Platform. Furthermore, the company has secured industry-leading expertise in the areas of gene augmentation and regenerative cell therapies. Bayer has also established a vibrant C> pipeline comprising five advanced assets and over fifteen preclinical candidates.
Leveraging external innovation together with the expertise of the teams at Bayer represents a key value-driver, especially in the highly dynamic and competitive field of C>. Bayer’s operating model for C>, where partners operate autonomously and are fully accountable to develop and progress their portfolio and technology, is essential for preserving their entrepreneurial culture and positions Bayer as a partner of choice. The role of Bayer’s C> Platform is to steer strategically, ensuring the different parts of the organization complement each other and combining the best in Biotech and Pharma know-how.
"The emerging bio revolution represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a new era for Bayer," said Wolfram Carius, Head of Bayer’s new C> Platform. "A dedicated C> Platform is vital to accelerate innovation at its source, and to ensure its translation into tangible therapies for patients who have no time to wait."
As part of the Pharmaceuticals Division, the C> Platform will combine multiple backbone functions providing support across the entire value chain for the research and development of cell and gene therapies. This includes expertise in Research and Preclinical Development, CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls), Clinical Development, Commercial, Strategy Implementation and Project Management. With a high level of flexibility, it will orchestrate operations from science to launch in order to generate and maintain a sustainable pipeline, with the goal to bring breakthrough science to market as fast as possible.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.