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Bayer Buys Gene Therapy Firm Asklepios BioPharma For $2 Bln Upfront Payment

Bayer AG (BAYZF.PK,BAYRY.PK,BYR.L) announced Monday the acquisition of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. or AskBio, a US-based biopharmaceutical company.

Under the deal terms, Bayer will pay an upfront consideration of $2 billion and potential success-based milestone payments of up to $2 billion.

Some 75 percent of the potential success-based milestone payments are expected to be due during the course of the next five years and the remaining amount late thereafter.

The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of the required regulatory approvals.

AskBio is a privately held, clinical-stage gene therapy company, and is specialized in the research, development and manufacturing of gene therapies across different therapeutic areas. Its development portfolio includes investigational pre-clinical and clinical stage candidates for the treatment of neuromuscular, central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

With the acquisition, Bayer will own full rights to AskBio's gene therapy platform, including a broad intellectual property portfolio and an established contract development and manufacturing organization laying the foundation for future partnerships in the area of adeno-associated virus therapies.

Bayer said the acquisition fuels its cell and gene therapy platform with potential to bring urgently needed treatments to patients across multiple disease areas with high unmet need. The deal also complements its 2019 acquisition of BlueRock Therapeutics.

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