Pharmaceutical company Bayer set to launch game-changing innovations in life sciences
German multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer is set to drive breakthrough innovations in life sciences with an investment worth more than €1.3 billion over the next three years in its investment unit in impact Leaps by Bayer, focusing on advanced pharmaceutical technology platforms such as cell and gene therapy to provide solutions for patients in areas of high unmet medical need. The company also explained how its innovations will enable farmers to achieve food security and decarbonize agriculture.
Last week, on April 1, Bayer hosted its first-ever Breakthrough Innovation Forum, focusing on longer-term opportunities for health and agriculture by leveraging emerging technologies. The event followed Bayer’s recent near- and mid-term pipeline updates for its Pharma and Crop Science divisions and shared further insights into Bayer’s ongoing progress to drive long-term breakthrough innovations in life sciences. Renowned experts and Bayer executives illustrated how a next wave of innovation will unlock new opportunities in next-generation healthcare and in delivering agricultural solutions to make farming more sustainable and less resource-intensive. Alongside the event, Bayer announced it was accelerating its investment in its impact investing unit Leaps by Bayer with more than €1.3 billion in funding through the end of 2024.
“We are at the dawn of a new era of innovation in the life sciencessaid Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Bayer AG. “Our ability to meet some of the biggest challenges is growing rapidly. Whether it is providing answers to incurable diseases, equipping people with preventive tools to live healthier, better and longer lives, producing more agricultural production while drastically reducing inputs and respecting planetary boundaries. This capability is particularly driven by the accelerated confluence of biology, chemistry, advanced computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence. As a leader in health and nutrition, Bayer is stepping up to drive this new era of innovation. Ultimately, better innovation is the engine that drives superior business results and outperformance.”
Tackling humanity’s greatest challenges with Leaps by Bayer
Leaps by Bayer follows a unique approach aimed at addressing ten of humanity’s greatest challenges, such as curing cancer or reducing the environmental impact of agriculture. “Over the past seven years, we have invested over €1.3 billion in a portfolio of over 50 companies, all focused on changing fundamental paradigms in the healthcare and agriculture sectors.said Jürgen Eckhardt, head of Leaps by Bayer. “With Bayer’s increased investment in Leaps over the next few years, we can continue on the right path and fund the brightest minds working on solutions that really make a difference for people and the planet..” Leaps has embarked on numerous joint ventures – such as JoynBio or the former holding company BlueRock Therapeutics, now wholly owned by Bayer – and successfully led several investment rounds. One example is Recursion, an AI-focused company working to research new drug treatments for pulmonary fibrosis and other fibrotic diseases, which successfully went public in April 2021. An overview of their missions and technologies in health and agriculture.
Stimulate disruptive innovations in the fields of health and agriculture
The event also provided concrete examples of Bayer’s ongoing work to change life science paradigms.
In health, the prospects of this new era of innovation are expected to greatly expand the toolbox of technologies and enable scientists around the world to address unmet medical needs. “The convergence of biology, chemistry and data opens up fundamentally new avenues for understanding and treating disease. Breakthrough innovation, powered by new technologies, not only allows us to treat symptoms, but also to halt or reverse the progression of a disease – and holds the promise of truly transformative treatment options for patients. ,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Directors of Bayer AG and President of the Pharmaceuticals Division. Bayer invests heavily in new areas of biomedical innovation, particularly in the areas of cell and gene therapies. Over the past three years, Bayer has invested more than €2.5 billion to build a cell and gene therapy platform, including the acquisitions of BlueRock Therapeutics and Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio). Additionally, Bayer drives innovation in strategic collaborations with partners such as Mammoth Biosciences to leverage the collaborative benefits of partnerships. Already today, the company’s strong portfolio of preclinical and clinical cell and gene therapies is benefiting its pipeline, with eight projects in various stages of clinical development. These cover therapeutic areas of high unmet medical need, with leading programs in Parkinson’s disease, Pompe disease and congestive heart failure. Bayer has also significantly strengthened its drug discovery capabilities through its acquisition of Vividion Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company using new discovery technologies to unlock high-value, traditionally unusable targets with precision therapeutics.
Additionally, the company is harnessing the potential of precision health in consumer healthcare. With its majority stake in Care/of, a personalized nutrition company originally invested in by Bayer’s Leaps business, Bayer is able to tap into the growth and future potential of the personalized supplements market. In addition, the company has entered into Healthy Aging Innovation Partnerships, which use new biological insights to explain how the right nutrition and lifestyle choices can improve cellular health and promote healthy aging. good health. These efforts complement the company’s portfolio of nutritional supplements and preventative health products, which have seen double-digit year-over-year growth in each of the past two years. “The pandemic has reinforced the importance of everyday health,” said Heiko Schipper, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Consumer Health Division. “Promoting innovation-driven solutions in self-care will enable individuals to take more proactive and personalized charge of their everyday health.”
In agriculture, Bayer is harnessing the power of new emerging technologies to create a sustainable and resilient food system and help producers around the world produce more with fewer resources while reducing emissions and removing carbon from the atmosphere. “Bayer’s R&D investment of €2 billion per year in our Crop Science division is unprecedented in the industry. decades – about half of which represents additional growth”, said Rodrigo Santos, member of the board of directors of Bayer AG and president of the Crop Science division. Based on RNAi technology, Bayer recently launched the first-ever biotech defense against corn rootworm, enabling farmers to control a pest that costs an estimated €1 billion a year in crop damage while reducing the need for crop protection. With its small corn, which is scheduled to be launched as part of Bayer’s new Smart Corn System in 2023, Bayer will bring a more weather-resistant plant to the market. Small maize is able to withstand extreme conditions resulting from climate change, reducing the risk of crop loss and contributing to food security. Leveraging its unprecedented digital agriculture platform, Bayer is a leading force in decarbonizing agriculture. The Bayer Carbon Initiative encourages farmers to adopt climate-smart practices such as no-till or cover crops. Additionally, it uses next-generation technology to quantify and track the impact of these practices, highlighting Bayer’s pioneering role and unique position in advancing digital capabilities for the human food value chain and animal, fuel and fiber.