Bayer AG agreed to acquire the remaining 59.2% stake in BlueRock Therapeutics for an upfront cash payment of $240 million.
The German pharmaceutical giant established BlueRock, a private biotechnology company, in 2016 under a joint venture with Versant Ventures. BlueRock develops therapies for disorders of the heart and diseases of the nervous and immune systems, using its proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell, or iPSC, platform.
BlueRock expects to start clinical trials for its lead drug candidate for the treatment of Parkinson's disease in 2019.
Under the agreement, Bayer will make an additional payment of $360 million subject to certain development milestones. Bayer expects to close the transaction during the third quarter of 2019.
After completion, Bayer will own full rights to BlueRock's Cell+Gene platform that includes a broad intellectual property portfolio and associated technology platform including iPSC technology, gene engineering and cell differentiation capabilities.
BlueRock will continue operating as an independent company, according to Bayer's Aug. 8 press release.