Bayer HealthCare AG acquires the German biotech company DIREVO Biotech AG, Cologne. With the acquisition of the biotech company specialized in protein engineering, Bayer strengthens the research competence in biologicals of its pharmaceutical division Bayer Schering Pharma. 

The industrial biotechnology business of DIREVO Biotech is not subject to the transaction. Closing of the deal of a value of 210 million Euro is projected for end of September 2008.  Bayer Healthcare plans to integrate DIREVO Biotech's research and development (R&D) personnel into Bayer Schering Pharma's global drug discovery organization. The site in Cologne will be maintained and integrated into Bayer Schering Pharma as a center of expertise for biologicals alongside the global R&D centers in Germany (Berlin and Wuppertal) and the USA (Berkeley).

DIREVO Biotech's unique and proprietary protein engineering platform uses high throughput technologies for the rapid discovery and optimization of biopharmaceuticals. The platform has already been successfully applied to a wide range of proteins, including therapeutic antibodies and proteases that will be added to the preclinical pipeline of Bayer Schering Pharma.

"Today Bayer Schering Pharma is among the top ten biologicals companies in the world. We are committed to further strengthen our biologicals portfolio, and DIREVO's leadership in protein engineering provides promising opportunities for further business growth," said Arthur Higgins, CEO of Bayer HealthCare AG.

"With this deal, we emphasize our position as a recognized leader in protein engineering. Bayer HealthCare is our owner of choice not only because of the excellent perspectives for our projects but also due to the close geographic proximity," said Thomas von Rüden, CEO of DIREVO Biotech AG. "We feel that this is in the best interest of our former owners and our employees. As part of Bayer Schering Pharma, we will further develop our expertise and knowledge in biopharmaceutical research."