Bayer buys start-up from Potsdam

11 Nov 2022

Bayer buys start-up from Potsdam

Bayer acquires German biotechnology start-up Targenomix. The company is a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology (MPI MPP) and uses novel methods and tools from systems biology and bioinformatics. The aim of the research is to find new mechanisms of action for crop protection solutions.

Targenomix will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer, but will retain its start-up character as an independent entity. With the acquisition, Bayer aims to accelerate the discovery and development of promising molecules for crop protection.

The integration of the start-up is an important cornerstone for Bayer's new systems biology platform in crop protection research, the Leverkusen-based company says of the acquisition. At the same time, the team will continue to be able to operate independently and flexibly, thus "retaining the start-up mentality and agile culture". Targenomix has know-how, expertise and technological platforms that help develop safe and effective active ingredients.

"Bayer's vast competence and experience in crop protection research and development combined with our agile start-up mentality, advanced molecular biology techniques and systems biology expertise will help both companies continue to develop new mechanisms of action," said Dr. Sebastian Klie, CEO of Targenomix. "We complement each other and this new phase of our collaboration will allow us to accelerate the discovery of sustainable and safe next-generation compounds."

Bayer and Targenomix have been working together successfully since 2014. Among other achievements, the collaboration has produced the industry's first new post-emergence herbicide for arable weed control in 30 years. The new herbicide proved effective against key resistant grasses in research. However, Bayer says it will take until "towards the end of this decade" for approval.