The German pharmaceutical firm has acquired US company AskBio, the 50% stakeholder of Viralgen with private equity fund Columbus.
This is the strategy that BAYER is using to move into the innovative field of viral gene therapy. The firm is also due to buy Columbus’ share in Viralgen to become the sole stakeholder.
In principle, Columbus will sell Bayer its share in Viralgen Clínica, which develops the biotechnological product side of the business, but will retain its stake in Viralgen Comercial.
The Director General of Viralgen, Javier García, has stressed that the business activity, location, head office and project will all remain unchanged.
The Basque Government, which has invested five million euros in Viralgen, applauded the deal. The Regional Councillor for Economic Development, Arantxa Tapia, said that the acquisition opens up “new opportunities for expansion, growth and increase potential in a sector that we have been supporting for twenty years.”
The Basque president Iñigo Urkullu, together with Tapia, welcomed the Viralgen management and scientific teams, led by CEO Javier García, in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The Basque Government explained in a statement that during the meeting García gave details of the deal under which Viralgen will form part of the Bayer Group, although it will remain headquartered in the Miramon technology park in Donostia and its current strategic plan, based on bio-healthcare and genetics.
Last year, Viralgen announced a €50 million investment for the construction of a new production plant for therapeutic viral vector in Donostia, which is expected to open in 2022.