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Bayer Broadens Its Manufacturing Basis for Biopharmaceuticals in Tobacco Plants

Cooperation with Kentucky Bioprocessing for future-oriented technology

LEVERKUSEN, Germany and OWENSBORO, Ky., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer Innovation GmbH and Kentucky Bioprocessing, LLC (KBP) are collaborating to develop a facility at KBP's Owensboro plant in the US state of Kentucky for the production service of biopharmaceuticals. Based on Bayer's proprietary magnICON(R) technology, plant made pharmaceutical proteins (PMP) and other high-value products will be produced in tobacco plants on commercial scale.

Under terms of the agreement, KBP will adapt its existing cGMP (cGMP = current Good Manufacturing Practice) compliant facility by installing an automated system for high throughput transfection of tobacco host plants. The agreement makes KBP the "preferred production partner" for the application of magnICON(R), an innovative technology for the fast high-yield production of proteins in tobacco plants.

Bayer has internal product development projects - for example a vaccine for the therapy of Non-Hodgkin-Lymphoma - based on the magnICON(R) platform. Beyond that Bayer is also in the process of licensing out this technology to several parties. "To accelerate these applications of this technology, we decided to team up with an experienced external manufacturer, and KBP, with its excellent facilities and highly qualified personnel is the best choice in our view," said Dr. Detlef Wollweber, General Manager of Bayer Innovation.

"Bayer and its subsidiary, Bayer Innovation, are among the highest regarded participants in the PMP sector," said KBP Chairman Hugh Haydon. "Our association with them is not only important for the growth of KBP, but we believe is also significant in the evolution and development of the PMP industry in Owensboro and worldwide."

Construction on the magnICON(R) related improvements at KBP is scheduled to begin in October 2008. Completion and initial testing of the new facilities is planned for spring of 2009.

The magnICON(R) technology is a new generation proprietary process for rapid, high-yield production of recombinant proteins, such as biopharmaceuticals, in tobacco plants. It does not require genetic engineering of plants, but instead relies on a blueprint for the desired product delivered temporarily to the plant using a soil bacterium. Entire plants are infiltrated with a highly diluted suspension of bacteria carrying the blueprint. The process has been shown to work with over 50 different pharmaceutical proteins on laboratory scale and it can be performed on an industrial scale in a fully contained manufacturing facility. The speed and yield of magnICON(R) offers new prospects for substances which have previously been impractical because of the length of time needed to produce them, or cost of their manufacturing.

About Kentucky Bioprocessing, LLC

KBP ( is located in Owensboro, Kentucky and maintains a highly experienced staff and facilities focused on expression, extraction, purification and commercial scale production of proteins and other products from plants. KBP offers clients and collaborators access to controlled plant growth facilities along with bench, pilot and full-scale processing facilities capable of production under cGMP conditions. In addition to its own capabilities KBP is able to leverage the experienced staff and facilities of the Owensboro Cancer Research Program and provides linkages to the considerable plant-made product expertise of the Owensboro area agriculture community and to other services offered throughout the region designed to support research, development and growth of a plant-made product business cluster.

About Bayer Innovation GmbH and Icon Genetics

Bayer Innovation GmbH (BIG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer AG, evaluates and develops new fields of business for the Bayer Group are related to Bayer's core competencies of health care, nutrition and innovative materials and complement its current key areas of innovation and business.

Icon Genetics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer Innovation GmbH; it was established in 1999 and acquired by Bayer in 2006. The company develops processes for the biotechnological production of proteins and other high-value products in plants.

Bayer: Science For A Better Life

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. The company's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time Bayer creates value through innovation, growth and improved earning power. The Group is committed to the principles of sustainable development and acknowledges and accepts its role as a socially and ethically responsible "corporate citizen". Economy, ecology and social responsibility are corporate policy objectives of equal rank. In fiscal 2007, Bayer employed 106,200 people and had sales of EUR 32.4 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 1.9 billion, the R&D budget to EUR 2.6 billion. More information is available on the Internet at

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 . The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Kentucky Bioprocessing, LLC; Bayer Innovation GmbH
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