Today, Bayer held its first ever Breakthrough Innovation Forum, focusing on longer-term opportunities for health and agriculture leveraging emerging technologies. In conjunction with the event, Bayer announced that it is accelerating its investment in its Leaps by Bayer impact investment unit with more than 1.3 billion euros funding until end of 2024.
The event followed Bayer’s recent short- and mid-term pipeline updates for its Pharma and Crop Science Divisions and shared further insights on Bayer’s ongoing progress to drive long-term breakthrough innovations in the Life Sciences. Renowned experts and Bayer executives illustrated how a forthcoming wave of innovations will open new opportunities in next-generation healthcare and in providing farming solutions to make agriculture more sustainable and less resource intensive.
Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, said:
We stand at the dawn of a new age of innovation in the Life Sciences. Our ability to tackle some of the greatest challenges is increasing rapidly. From providing answers for incurable diseases, equipping people with preventive tools to live healthier, better and longer lives, to producing more agricultural output whilst significantly reducing inputs and respecting the planetary boundaries. This ability is particularly driven by the accelerating confluence of biology, chemistry, advanced computing, data analytics and artificial intelligence. As a leader in health and nutrition, Bayer is further stepping up its efforts to be a driver of this new era of innovation. Ultimately, better innovation is the engine that drives superior business results and outperformance.
Leaps by Bayer follows a unique approach aimed at tackling ten of humanity’s biggest challenges such as curing cancer or reducing the environmental impact of agriculture.
Jürgen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer, said:
Over the past seven years, we have invested more than 1.3 billion euros across a portfolio comprising more than 50 companies – all geared towards shifting core paradigms in the sectors of Health and Agriculture. With Bayer stepping up its investment in Leaps over the coming years, we will be able to continue on our successful path and provide funding for the brightest minds working on solutions that truly make a difference for people and the planet.
Leaps has embarked on numerous joint ventures – such as JoynBio or the former portfolio company BlueRock Therapeutics which is now fully owned by Bayer – and successfully led several investment rounds. One example is Recursion, an AI-focused company working to find new drug treatments for lung fibrosis and other fibrotic diseases, which successfully went public in April 2021. The Breakthrough Innovation Forum features CEOs of Leaps’ portfolio companies Cellino, Andes and Ukko to share insights on their missions and technologies in health and agriculture.
The event also provided tangible examples of Bayer’s ongoing work to change the paradigms in Life Sciences.
In health, the prospects of this new era of innovation are expected to significantly enlarge the toolbox of technologies and enable scientists around the world to address areas of high unmet medical need.
Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Bayer AG and President of the Pharmaceuticals division, said:
The convergence of biology, chemistry and data is opening up fundamentally new ways to understand and treat disease. Breakthrough innovation, powered by new technologies, enables us to not only treat symptoms, but to potentially stop or reverse progression of a disease – and offers the promise of treatment options that are truly transformative for patients.
Bayer is investing strongly in new areas of biomedical innovation, especially in the fields of cell and gene therapies. Over the past three years, Bayer has invested more than 2.5 billion euros to build up a Cell & Gene Therapy Platform, including the acquisitions of BlueRock Therapeutics and Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio).