Jude Samulski, Marianne De Backer

Bay­er buys a biotech ‘race horse’ with a $4B deal — $2B in cash — aimed at go­ing big in­to gene ther­a­py

In the lat­est sign that Big Phar­ma wants a lead­ing place in the push to de­vel­op a new gen­er­a­tion of cell and gene ther­a­pies, Bay­er is step­ping up to­day with a $2 bil­lion cash deal to buy out one of the fast-mov­ing pi­o­neers in the field, while adding up to $2 bil­lion more in mile­stones if the new phar­ma sub­sidiary can de­liv­er the goods.

As part of a con­tin­u­ing se­ries of deals en­gi­neered by Bay­er BD chief Mar­i­anne De Backer, the phar­ma play­er has snapped up Askle­pios, more com­mon­ly re­ferred to in more ca­su­al fash­ion as AskBio. And they are pay­ing top dol­lar for a Re­search Tri­an­gle Park-based com­pa­ny that raised $225 mil­lion a lit­tle more than a year ago to back the brain­child of Jude Samul­s­ki, the gene ther­a­py pi­o­neer out of the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na Gene Ther­a­py Cen­ter.

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