Bayer CropScience acquires Athenix or Bayer $365 million

Bayer CropScience has announced the completion of its purchase of privately-held independent biotechnology company Athenix Corp, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA, for $365 million. Further cash payments based upon the achievement of development milestones could raise the acquisition cost by another $35 million.

The acquisition of Athenix and its technology platform would significantly boost Bayer CropScience´s ability to make available to growers worldwide novel technology and complete agricultural solutions.

Athenix has an extensive herbicide tolerance and insect control trait development platform. The company has the largest collection of Bt genes in the industry – genes that are crucial for insect resistance of plants.

Moreover, Athenix is working on nematode resistance as well, a field where current chemical options are limited. In addition, it has a valuable collection of proprietary microbes that will provide a long-term source of novel and commercially important genes for future trait development.

Bayer CropScience is currently already pursuing a total of 56 bioscience research projects involving six crops. The acquisition bolsters this research and development (R&D)-pipeline and the trait platform of Bayer CropScience as Athenix woulde complement its fast growing bioscience business by significantly extending its R&D-presence in North America.

Athenix employs some of the world's leading researchers in the agricultural biotech industry and has a workforce of about 65 employees who have extensive expertise in commercial gene discovery, commercial trait generation, and product development.