Bayer and ERS Genomics announce licensing agreement for Genome Editing Patents

Leverkusen, Germany and Dublin, Ireland, May 17, 2016 - Bayer and ERS signed a patent license agreement whereby Bayer gains access to ERS’ CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing patents for certain cross-divisional applications in Bayer’s core strategic areas. ERS Genomics holds rights to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio from Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, an inventor of the breakthrough gene-editing technology. Dr. Axel Bouchon, Head of the Bayer Life Science Center, said: “This is perfectly suited to fully leverage the tremendous potential of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing within Bayer and serves as an ideal addition to our partnership with CRISPR Therapeutics”.

The licensing agreement is an investment by the Bayer LifeScience Center (BLSC), which recently created a joint venture with CRISPR Therapeutics to discover, develop and commercialize new breakthrough therapeutics to cure blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease. The BLSC has the mission to uncover, encourage and unlock fundamental scientific and medical breakthroughs more rapidly by enabling innovative partnerships with entrepreneurial best-in-class biotechnology companies.

"We are pleased to include Bayer into our portfolio of licensees,” said Shaun Foy, CEO and Founder of ERS Genomics. “Genome editing has broad applications in drug discovery and development and making the CRISPR-Cas9 patents available to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies is an important part of our strategy."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

About The Bayer LifeScience Center
The BLSC is a new R&D unit of Bayer that focuses entirely on the development of ultimate breakthroughs across species by creating a novel platform that allows technology combination and know-how amplification. Initially, the BLSC will tackle fundamental challenges through a network of external collaborative partnerships with the focus on promising new technologies to cure diseases and to take responsibility for the growing world population.

About ERS Genomics
ERS Genomics was formed to commercialise the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 intellectual property held by Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. Licenses are available for research and sale of products and services across multiple fields including: research tools, kits, reagents; discovery of novel targets for therapeutic intervention; cell lines for discovery and screening of novel drug candidates; GMP production of healthcare products; production of industrial materials such as enzymes, biofuels and chemicals; and synthetic biology. For additional information please visit www.ersgenomics.com.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports, which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Contact Bayer:
Dr. Katharina Jansen, Tel. +49 214 30-33243
E-Mail: katharina.jansen@bayer.com

Contact ERS Genomics:
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Mario Brkulj or Dr. Stephanie May, +49 89 2424 3494
E-Mail: mbrkulj@macbiocom.com