BlueRock Therapeutics, a global leader in stem-cell research, was co-founded by UHN researchers Drs. Gordon Keller and Michael Laflamme. (Photo: UHN Research)

On August 8, 2019, it was announced that Bayer AG will fully acquire BlueRock Therapeutics, a company that was co-founded by UHN researchers, Drs. Gordon Keller and Michael Laflamme.

BlueRock Therapeutics was established in December 2016 with initial seed investments from Bayer AG and Versant Ventures. This latest transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2019, will boost Bayer's current stake in the company from 40.8 percent to full ownership and will bring BlueRock Therapeutics' total value to around $1US billion. After the transaction, BlueRock Therapeutics will continue to operate as an independent company.

BlueRock Therapeutics is focused on developing engineered cell therapies in the fields of neurology, cardiology and immunology, using a proprietary induced pluripotent stem cell platform known as CELL+GENE™. The company is planning to begin its first clinical program for Parkinson's later this year.

With employees in Cambridge, New York and Toronto, BlueRock Therapeutics is part of a legacy of leadership in the field, which was first sparked by the discovery of stem cells at UHN more than 50 years ago. In Toronto, BlueRock Therapeutics closely collaborates with and supports researchers at UHN's McEwen Stem Cell Institute, which is lead by BlueRock co-founder Dr. Keller.

Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President of Science and Research at UHN, comments, "This latest investment will help BlueRock advance the development of revolutionary and best-in-class cell therapies for patients. It is a great example of the wealth of opportunities available in Toronto and at UHN, and it illustrates how basic research can lay the foundation for success."

To read more, see the press release.

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