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Bayer/CRISPR Therapeutics Joint Venture, Casebia Therapeutics, Named 'Most Valuable Pharma Deal of the Year' by BioPharma Dive
Date:11/29/2016

WHIPPANY, N.J. and BASEL, Switzerland, Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2016 joint venture between Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics has been named the winner of the 2016 Dive Awards: Most Valuable Pharma Deal of the Year by BioPharma Dive, a leading industry news publisher. The joint venture, called Casebia Therapeutics and originally announced in December 2015, focuses on using CRISPR/Cas-9 technology to develop breakthrough therapeutics for blood disorders, blindness and congenital heart disease.

"Bayer's alignment with CRISPR Therapeutics gives further gravity to the CRISPR/Cas-9 technology and shows big pharma's emphasis on innovation," said Lisa LaMotta, senior editor, BioPharma Dive.

While other pharma mergers and acquisitions this year may have involved more cash, the unconventional structure of this venture, as well as its prioritization of technological innovation, made the deal a clear standout in 2016.

"Through Casebia Therapeutics, we remain dedicated to our ambitious mandate of unlocking the possibilities of gene editing to cure diseases," said Dr. Axel Bouchon, head of the Bayer Lifescience Center and a member of the Board of Directors of Casebia Therapeutics. "We are honored to be recognized by BioPharma Dive for the creation of Casebia, a deal which combined the most promising gene editing technology on the market at CRISPR Therapeutics with Bayer's expertise in protein engineering and in-depth knowledge of target disease areas."

"We appreciate the industry recognition for the value of this really innovative partnership between CRISPR Therapeutics and Bayer," said Rodger Novak, chief executive officer of CRISPR Therapeutics and a member of the Board of Directors of Casebia Therapeutics. "The corporate and business model we have employed to set up Casebia is unique. With our most recent appointment of Jim Burns as CEO of Casebia, we have now the elite leadership in place needed to prudently translate the CRISPR-Cas9 technology into valuable clinical stage assets."

The 2016 Dive Awards recognize the industry's top disruptors and innovators. From Company of the Year to Obsession of the Year, BioPharma Dive solicited suggestions for title nominees from its 22,000 readers. With the help of a panel of industry insiders, winners were chosen by the editors of BioPharma Dive based on resonance and industry impact.

About CRISPR Therapeutics
CRISPR Therapeutics is a leading gene-editing company focused on the development of transformative gene-based medicines for serious diseases using its proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing platform. CRISPR/Cas9 is a revolutionary technology that allows for precise, directed changes to genomic DNA. The Company's multi-disciplinary team of world-class researchers and drug developers is working to translate this technology into breakthrough human therapeutics in a number of serious diseases. Additionally, CRISPR Therapeutics has established strategic collaborations with Bayer AG and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to develop CRISPR-based therapeutics in diseases with high unmet need. The foundational CRISPR/Cas9 patent estate for human therapeutic use was licensed from the Company's scientific founder Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., who co-invented the application of CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing. CRISPR Therapeutics is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland with its R&D operations based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.crisprtx.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 lives. 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.us.

About BioPharma Dive
BioPharma Dive is a property of Industry Dive. Based in Washington, D.C., Industry Dive serves over 2 million executives through 12 industry-specific news publications: BioPharma, CIO, Construction, Education, Food, Healthcare, HR, Marketing, Retail, Supply Chain, Utility, and Waste. Through mobile-optimized websites, email newsletters, mobile apps, and more, Industry Dive provides business leaders with a convenient way to stay up-to-date on the most relevant industry news, trends, events, jobs, press releases and market research impacting their jobs. 

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer 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.

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