Bayer to acquire Vividion Therapeutics for novel drug discovery platform

Bayer to pay $1.5 billion upfront to acquire Viridion Therapeutics, thus strengthening its small molecule capabilities and expanding its reach into new modalities.

Takeda’s $4 billion acquisition

Bayer has announced that it will acquire Vividion Therapeutics Inc., a US-headquartered biopharmaceutical company utilising novel discovery technologies to unlock high value, traditionally undruggable targets with precision therapeutics. Bayer will pay $1.5 billion upfront to own full rights to Vividion’s proprietary discovery platform and pay up to $500 million in potential success-based milestone payments.

Vividion’s platform can produce a variety of small molecule therapies across indications; however, has initially focused on targets relevant to oncology and immunology. The company’s lead programmes include multiple precision oncology targets and precision immunology targets, with ongoing efforts on a transcription factor NRF2 antagonist for the potential treatment of NRF2 mutant cancers, as well as NRF2 activators for various inflammatory diseases such as irritable bowel disease – among other pre-clinical programmes.

Following closing of the acquisition, Bayer will own full rights to Vividion’s proprietary discovery platform, which comprises three integrated, synergistic components: a novel chemoproteomic screening technology, an integrated data portal and a proprietary chemistry library. According to Bayer, the acquisition will strengthen its small molecule capabilities and expand its reach into new modalities. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will pay an upfront consideration of $1.5 billion and potential success-based milestone payments of up to USD 500 million.

“This acquisition is a cornerstone of our strategy to fuel our pipeline with breakthrough innovation,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG and President of the Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division. “Vividion’s technology is the most advanced in the industry and it has demonstrated its ability to identify drug candidates that can target challenging proteins. Together with Bayer’s existing know-how, we will be able to develop first-in-class drug candidates, increasing the value of our pipeline. We want to provide innovative therapies for patients whose medical needs are not yet met by today’s treatment options.”

“Despite advances in genomics, structural biology and high-throughput screening, about 90 percent of disease-causing proteins cannot be targeted by current therapies due to the lack of a known addressable binding site. Our proprietary chemoproteomic platform technology addresses the key limitations of conventional screening techniques and allows us to discover previously unknown, or cryptic, functional pockets on the surface of proteins and identify small molecules that selectively bind to those targets,” said Jeff Hatfield, Chief Executive Officer at Vividion. “When combined with Bayer’s expertise in the development of small molecules to market and patient, an unparalleled position comes into existence to unlock undruggable targets and generate first-in-class novel compounds for the benefit of patients.”

Vividion will continue to operate as an independent organization on an arm’s length basis and will remain accountable to advance its technology and portfolio while benefiting from the experience, infrastructure and reach of Bayer.

Closing of the transaction is contingent on customary closing conditions, including receipt of the required regulatory approvals, and is expected to take place in Q3 2021.