Bayer To Acquire Cell-Therapy Company BlueRock Therapeutics in $600-Million Deal
Bayer has agreed to acquire BlueRock Therapeutics, a developer of cell therapies in neurology, cardiology and immunology, in a deal worth up to $600 million. BlueRock develops engineered cell therapies using a proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell platform.
Following a 2016 joint venture with investor Versant Ventures to establish BlueRock Therapeutics, Bayer says it will acquire the remaining stake in BlueRock Therapeutics for approximately $240 million in cash to be paid upfront at closing and an additional $360 million payable upon achievement of pre-defined development milestones. With Bayer currently holding a 40.8% stake, the investment corresponds to a total company value of BlueRock of approximately $1 billion.
Under the agreement, Bayer will own full rights to BlueRock Therapeutics’ intellectual property portfolio and proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell platform technology, gene-engineering, and cell-differentiation capabilities. BlueRock Therapeutics’ portfolio of cell therapies is currently focused on neurology, cardiology and immunology with a lead program in Parkinson’s disease, which the company says is expected to enter the clinic by the end of 2019.
In 2016, Bayer and investor Versant Ventures established BlueRock Therapeutics with a $225-million Series A Financing as part of the Leaps by Bayer unit. Leaps is complementary to Bayer’s divisional research and development approach and works on establishing new companies and investing in new early-stage technologies.
Bayer says BlueRock Therapeutics will remain an independent company operating on an “arm’s-length” basis and that the closing of the transaction is expected for the third quarter of 2019.