Bayer to buy AskBio for up to $4B

Oct. 26, 2020

Bayer AG will pay as much as $4 billion for U.S. biotech Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, in a push to build its drugmaking business.

AskBio’s development portfolio includes investigational pre-clinical and clinical stage candidates for the treatment of neuromuscular, central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases but the big selling point is it's gene therapy platform. The industry leading adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy platform is already yielding commercial and clinical stage assets with potential of helping larger patient populations, according to Bayer.

“As part of our strategy, we are building new therapeutic platforms including cell and gene therapies,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG and President of the Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

The deal — for which Bayer will pay $2 billion now and as much as a further $2 billion based on future success milestones — is expected to take place during the fourth quarter of 2020.

This comes as the German drugmaker continues to attempt to recover from its 2018 acquisition of U.S.-based Monsanto, which has brought the drugmaker extensive litigation over accusations that Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

Read the press release