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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When the German major bought AskBio a couple of years ago, one of its assets was a gene therapy for Huntington’s, a devastating disease that leads to complete physical and mental deterioration. That asset, BV-101, is about to enter the clinic.
The major will use funds from the sale of its male hypogonadism product to invest in future innovation, which is likely to focus on high-risk high-reward cell and gene drug candidates.
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.