|Traded as||FWB: BAYN|
|Founded||August 1, 1863|
|Founder||Friedrich Bayer, Johann Friedrich Weskott|
|Marijn Dekkers (CEO), Werner Wenning (Chairman of the supervisory board)|
|Products||Veterinary drugs, diagnostic imaging, general and specialty medicines, women's health products, over-the-counter drugs, diabetes care, pesticides, plant biotechnology, polymers, coatings, adhesives|
|Revenue||€39.76 billion (2012)|
|€3.960 billion (2012)|
|Profit||€2.446 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||€51.34 billion (end 2012)|
|Total equity||€18.57 billion (end 2012)|
Number of employees
|110,500 (FTE, 2012)|
|Subsidiaries||Bayer MaterialScience, Bayer Corporation, Bayer Schering Pharma, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Bayer CropScience|
Bayer AG (//; German pronunciation: [ˈbaɪ̯ɐ]) is a German multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company founded in Barmen (today a part of Wuppertal), Germany in 1863. It is headquartered in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where its illuminated sign is a landmark. Bayer's primary areas of business include human and veterinary pharmaceuticals; consumer healthcare products; agricultural chemicals and biotechnology products; and high value polymers. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
Bayer lost its US business after World War I and during World War II was part of IG Farben and participated in Nazi war crimes. IG Farben was broken up after WWII and Bayer became independent again, and in 1978 it bought back its name in the US.
Bayer's first and best known product was aspirin; there is a dispute about what scientist at Bayer made the most important contributions to it, Arthur Eichengrün or Felix Hoffmann. Bayer trademarked "heroin" and marketed it as a cough suppressant and non-addictive substitute for morphine from 1898 to 1910. Bayer also introduced phenobarbital, prontosil, the first widely used antibiotic and the subject of the 1939 Nobel Prize in Medicine, the antibiotic Cipro (ciprofloxacin), and Yaz (drospirenone) birth control pills. In 2014 Bayer bought Merck's consumer business, with brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's. Its BayerCropscience business develops genetically modified crops and pesticides. Its materials science division makes polymers like polyurethanes and polycarbonate.
Bayer has been involved in controversies regarding some of its drug products; its statin drug Baycol (cerivastatin) was discontinued in 2001 after 52 people died from renal failure, and Trasylol (Aprotinin), used to control bleeding during major surgery, was withdrawn from the markets worldwide when reports of increased mortality emerged; it was later re-introduced in Europe but not in the US. Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticides have been the subject of controversy regarding their possible role in colony collapse disorder.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate structure
- 3 Products
- 4 Bayer 04 Leverkusen
- 5 Chemical accident
- 6 Awards and recognition
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Bayer's first major product was acetylsalicylic acid (originally discovered by French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt in 1853), a modification of salicylic acid or salicin, a folk remedy found in the bark of the willow plant. By 1899, Bayer's trademark Aspirin was registered worldwide for Bayer's brand of acetylsalicylic acid, but because of the confiscation of Bayer's US assets and trademarks during World War I by the United States – and the subsequent widespread usage of the word to describe all brands of the compound – "Aspirin" lost its trademark status in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. It is now widely used in the US, UK, and France for all brands of the drug. However, in more than 80 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Switzerland, it is still a registered trademark of Bayer. As of 2011, approximately 40 thousand tons of aspirin are produced each year and 10 to 20 billion tablets are taken in the U.S. alone each year for prevention of cardiovascular events. It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.
There has been controversy over the roles played by Bayer scientists in the development of aspirin. Arthur Eichengrün, a Bayer chemist, claimed to be the first to discover an aspirin formulation which did not have the unpleasant side effects of nausea and gastric pain. Eichengrün also claimed he invented the name aspirin and was the first person to use the new formulation to test its safety and efficacy. Bayer contends aspirin was discovered by Felix Hoffmann to alleviate the sufferings of his father, who had arthritis. Various sources support the conflicting claims. Most mainstream historians attribute the invention of aspirin to Felix Hoffmann and/or Arthur Eichengrün.
Heroin (diacetylmorphine), a now illegal addictive drug, was trademarked and marketed by Bayer as a cough suppressant and non-addictive substitute for morphine from 1898 to 1910. Bayer scientists were not the first to make heroin, but their scientists discovered ways to make it, and Bayer led commercialization of heroin. Heroin was a Bayer trademark, until after World War I.
In 1903 Bayer licensed the patent for the hypnotic drug diethylbarbituic acid from its inventors, Emil Fischer and Joseph von Mering. It was marketed under the trade name Veronal as a sleep aid beginning in 1904. Systematic investigations of the effect of structural changes on potency and duration of action at Bayer led to the discovery of phenobarbital in 1911 and the discovery of its potent anti-epileptic activity in 1912. Phenobarbital was among the most widely used drugs for the treatment of epilepsy through the 1970s, and as of 2014, remains on the World Health Organization's list of essential medications.
The company's corporate logo, the Bayer cross, was introduced in 1904. It consists of the horizontal word "BAYER" crossed with the vertical word "BAYER", both words sharing the "Y", and enclosed in a circle.:51 An illuminated version of the logo is a landmark in Leverkusen, where Bayer is headquartered.
World War I and II
As part of the reparations after World War I, Bayer assets, including the rights to its name and trademarks, were confiscated in the United States, Canada, and several other countries. In the United States and Canada, Bayer's assets and trademarks were acquired by Sterling Drug, a predecessor of Sterling Winthrop.
In 1916 Bayer scientists discovered suramin, an anti-parasite drug that is still sold by Bayer under the brand name Germanin. The formula of suramin was kept secret by Bayer for commercial reasons, however, it was elucidated and published in 1924 by Ernest Fourneau and his team of the Pasteur Institute.:378–379 It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.
Bayer became part of IG Farben, a German chemical company conglomerate, in 1925. In the 1930s, IG Farben scientists Gerhard Domagk, Fritz Mietzsch, and Joseph Klarer, discovered Prontosil, the first commercially available antibacterial drug. The discovery and development of this first sulfonamide drug opened a new era in medicine. Domagk received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this work in 1939.
During World War II, IG Farben used slave labor in factories attached to large slave labor camps, notably I.G. Auschwitz, and the sub-camps of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. IG Farben engaged in human experimentation on Auschwitz prisoners, often with fatal results. After World War II, the Allies broke up IG Farben and Bayer reappeared as an individual business. IG Farben board member Fritz ter Meer, sentenced to seven years in prison during the IG Farben Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, was elected Bayer's supervisory board head in 1956.
In the 1960s Bayer introduced a pregnancy test, Primodos that consisted of two pills that contained norethisterone (as acetate) and ethinylestradiol. It detected pregnancy by inducing menstruation in women who were not pregnant. The presence or absence of menstrual bleeding was then used to determine whether the user was pregnant. The test became the subject of controversy when it was blamed for birth defects, and it was withdrawn from the market in the mid-1970s. Litigation in the 1980s regarding these claims ended inconclusively. A review of the matter by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in 2014 assessed the studies performed to date, and concluded that it found the evidence for adverse effects to be inconclusive.
In 1978, Bayer purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiaries Miles Canada and Cutter Laboratories (along with product lines including Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones vitamins and One-A-Day vitamins, and Cutter insect repellent).
Along with the purchase of Cutter, Bayer acquired Cutter's Factor VIII business. Factor VIII is a clotting agent used to treat hemophilia, and at that time it was produced by processing donated blood. In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, people with hemophilia were found to have higher rates of AIDS, and by 1983 the CDC had identified contaminated blood products as a source of infection. According to the New York Times, this was "one of the worst drug-related medical disasters in history." Companies including Bayer developed new ways to treat donated blood with heat to decontaminate it, and these new products were introduced early in 1984. In 1997, Bayer and the other three makers of such blood products agreed to pay $660 million to settle cases on behalf of more than 6,000 hemophiliacs infected in United States. In 2003 documents emerged showing that Cutter continued to sell unheated blood products in markets outside the US until 1985.
In 1994, Bayer AG purchased Sterling Winthrop's over-the-counter drug business from SmithKline Beecham and merged it with Miles Laboratories, thereby reacquiring the U.S. and Canadian trademark rights to "Bayer" and the Bayer cross, as well as the ownership of the Aspirin trademark in Canada.
In the late 1990s, Bayer introduced a statin drug, Baycol (Cerivastatin) but after 52 deaths were attributed to it, Bayer discontinued it in 2001. The side effect was rhabdomyolysis, causing renal failure, which occurred with a tenfold greater frequency in patients treated with Baycol in comparison to those prescribed alternate medications of the statin class.
In March 2008, Bayer HealthCare announced an agreement to acquire the portfolio and OTC division of privately owned Sagmel, Inc., a US-based company that markets OTC medications in most of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and others.
On 2 November 2010, Bayer AG signed an agreement to buy Auckland-based animal health company Bomac Group.
In 2014 Bayer agreed to buy Merck's consumer health business for $14.2 billion which would provide Bayer control with brands such as Claritin, Coppertone and Dr. Scholl's. Bayer would attain second place globally in nonprescription drugs.
The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers, acquisitions and historical predecessors:
To separate operational and strategic managements, Bayer AG was reorganized into a holding company in December 2003. The group's core businesses were transformed into limited companies, each controlled by Bayer AG. These companies are: Bayer CropScience AG; Bayer HealthCare AG; Bayer MaterialScience AG and Bayer Chemicals AG, and the three service limited companies Bayer Technology Services GmbH, Bayer Business Services GmbH and Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG. Bayer AG shares are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange and previously on the New York Stock Exchange. Following the reorganization, its chemicals activities (with the exception of H.C. Starck and Wolff Walsrode) were combined with certain components of the polymers segment to form the new company Lanxess on 1 July 2004. Lanxess was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in early 2005. Bayer HealthCare's Diagnostics Division was acquired by Siemens Medical Solutions in January 2007.
Bayer CropScience has products in crop protection (i.e. pesticides), nonagricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. In addition to conventional agrochemical business, it is involved in genetic engineering of food.
In 2002, Bayer AG acquired Aventis (now part of Sanofi) CropScience and fused it with their own agrochemicals division (Bayer Pflanzenschutz or "Crop Protection") to form Bayer CropScience; the Belgian biotech company Plant Genetic Systems became part of Bayer through the Aventis acquisition. Also in 2002, Bayer AG acquired the Dutch seed company Nunhems, which at the time was one of the world's top five seed companies.:270
In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Bayer CropScience's LibertyLink genetically modified rice had contaminated the U.S. rice supply. Shortly after the public learned of the contamination, the E.U. banned imports of U.S. long-grain rice and the futures price plunged. In April 2010, a Lonoke County, Arkansas jury awarded a dozen farmers $48 million. The case is currently on appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court. On 1 July 2011 Bayer CropScience agreed to a global settlement for up to $750 million.
In September 2014, the firm announced plans to invest $1 billion in the United States between 2013 and 2016. A Bayer spokesperson said that the largest investments will be made to expand the production of its herbicide Liberty. Liberty is used to kill weeds which have grown resistant to Monsanto's product Roundup. 
Operations in India
Bayer CropScience Limited is the India subsidiary of Bayer AG. It is listed on the Indian stock exchanges viz. the Bombay Stock Exchange & National Stock Exchange of India and has a market capitalization of $2 billion.
Bayer HealthCare is Bayer's pharmaceutical and medical products subgroup. It is involved in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of products that aim to improve the health of people and animals. Bayer HealthCare comprises a further four subdivisions: Bayer Schering Pharma, Bayer Consumer Care, Bayer Animal Health and Bayer Medical Care.
In 2007, Bayer took over Schering AG and formed Bayer Schering Pharma. The acquisition of Schering was the largest take-over in Bayer's history. The name was changed to Bayer Pharma in 2011.
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals is divided into two business units – General Medicine and Specialty Medicine.
Women's healthcare is an example of a General Medicine business unit. Bayer Pharma produces the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin. Both pills use a newer type of progesterone hormone called drospirenone in combination with estrogen. Yaz is advertised as a treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and moderate acne. Other key products include the cancer drug Nexavar, the multiple sclerosis drug betaferon/betaseron and the blood-clotting drug, Kogenate.
An example of a Specialty Medicine Business Unit is Diagnostic Imaging. Contrast agents from this unit helps play a crucial role in precise and early diagnosis and the selection of optimal treatment. Diagnostic imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound are used to make tissues and organs visible in their natural position inside the body along with contrast. Work is also focused on the development of tracers for positron emission tomography (PET). The PET tracer florbetaben F18 in Bayer's pipeline makes it possible to recognize beta amyloid, one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, with high accuracy very early on and while the patient is still alive.
Bayer Consumer Care
Bayer Consumer Care manages Bayer's OTC medicines portfolio. Key products include analgesics such as Bayer Aspirin and Aleve, food supplements Redoxon and Berocca, and skincare products Bepanthen and Bepanthol.
Bayer Animal Health
Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division is the maker of Advantage Multi (imidacloprid + moxidectin) Topical Solution for dogs and cats, Advantage flea control for cats and dogs and K9 Advantix, a flea, tick, and mosquito control product for dogs. Advantage Multi, K9 Advantix and Advantage are trademarks of Bayer. The division specializes in parasite control and prescription pharmaceuticals for dogs, cats, horses, and cattle. North American operation for the Animal Health Division are headquartered in Shawnee, Kansas. Bayer Animal Health is a division of Bayer HealthCare LLC.
Bayer Diabetes Care
Bayer Diabetes Care manages Bayer's medical devices portfolio. Key products include the blood glucose monitors Contour Next EZ (XT), Contour, Contour USB and Breeze 2 used in the management of diabetes.
Bayer MaterialScience is a supplier of high-tech polymers, and develops solutions for a broad range of applications relevant to everyday life. On September 18, 2014, the Board of Directors of Bayer AG announced plans to float the Bayer MaterialScience business on the stock market as a separate entity. On June 1, 2015 Bayer announced that the new company will be named Covestro.
Bayer Business Services
Located at the Bayer USA Headquarters in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Bayer Business Services handles the information technology infrastructure and technical support aspect of Bayer USA and Bayer Canada. This is also the headquarters of the North American Service Desk, the central IT Help Desk for all of Bayer USA and Bayer Canada. Bayer Business Services also employs 4500 specialists in India.
Bayer Technology Services
Bayer Technology Services is engaged in process development and in process and plant engineering, construction and optimization.
Currenta offers services for the chemical industry, including utility supply, waste management, infrastructure, safety, security, analytics and vocational training.
In 2014 pharmaceutical products contributed €12.05 billion of Bayer's €40.15 billion in gross revenue. Top-selling products included
- Kogenate (recombinant clotting factor VIII). Kogenate is a recombinant version of clotting factor VIII, the absence of deficiency of which causes the abnormal bleeding associated with haemophilia type A. Kogenate is one of several commercially available Factor VIII products having equivalent efficacy.
- Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is a small molecule inhibitor of Factor Xa, a key enzyme involved in blood coagulation. In the United States, the FDA has approved rivaroxaban for the prevention of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in people undergoing hip surgery. Rivaroxaban competes with other newer generation anticoagulants such as apixaban and dabigatran as well as with the generic anticoagulant warfarin. It has similar efficacy to warfarin and is associated with a lower risk of intracranial bleeding, but unlike warfarin there is no established protocol for rapidly reversing its effects in the event of uncontrolled bleeding or the need for emergency surgery.
- Betaseron is an injectable form of the protein interferon beta used to prevent relapses in the relapsing remitting form of multiple sclerosis. Betaseron competes with other injectable forms of interferon beta, glatiramer acetate, and a variety of newer multiple sclerosis drugs, some of which can be taken orally (Dimethyl fumarate, teriflunomide, others).
- Yasmin / Yaz birth control pills are part of a group of birth control pill products based on the synthetic progesterone analog drospirenone. Yaz is approved in the United States for the prevention of pregnancy, to treat symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women who choose an oral contraceptive for contraception, and to treat moderate acne in women at least 14 years of age who choose an oral contraceptive for contraception. The FDA has conducted a safety review regarding the potential of Yaz and other drospirenone-containing products to increase the risk of blood clots. Although conflicting results were obtained in different studies, the Agency added a warning to the label that Yaz and related products may be associated with an increased risk of clotting relative to other birth control pill products. Subsequently, a meta analysis suggested that birth control pills of the class Yasmin belongs to raise the risk of blood clots to a greater extent than some other classes of birth control pills.
- Nexavar (sorafenib) is a kinase inhibitor used in the treatment of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma), and certain types of thyroid cancer.
- Trasylol (Aprotinin) Trasylol is a trypsin inhibitor used to control bleeding during major surgery. In a 2006 meeting called by the FDA to review the drug's safety, Bayer scientists failed to reveal the results of an ongoing large study suggesting that Trasylol may increase the risks of death and stroke. According to a FDA official who preferred to remain anonymous, the FDA learned of the study only through information provided to the FDA by a whistleblowing scientist who was involved in it. The study concluded Trasylol carried greater risks of death, serious kidney damage, congestive heart failure and strokes. On 15 December of the same year the FDA restricted the use of Trasylol, and in November 2007 they requested that the company suspend marketing. A 2011 Cochrane review concluded that compared to other antifibrinolytics, the use of aprotinin is associated with a 39% increased risk of mortality. In 2011, Health Canada lifted its suspension of Trasylol for its originally approved indication of limiting bleeding in coronary bypass surgery, citing flaws in the design of the studies that led to its suspension. This decision was controversial. In 2013 the European Medicines Agency lifted its suspension of the Trasylol marketing authorization for selected patients undergoing cardiac bypass surgery, citing a favorable risk-benefit ratio.
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin) Ciprofloxacin was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987. Ciprofloxacin is the most widely used of the second-generation quinolone antibiotics that came into clinical use in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 2010, over 20 million outpatient prescriptions were written for ciprofloxacin, making it the 35th-most commonly prescribed drug, and the 5th-most commonly prescribed antibacterial, in the US.
Bayer produces various fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and some crop varieties.
- Fungicides are primarily marketed for cereal crops, fresh produce, fungal with bacteria-based pesticides, and control of mildew and rust diseases. Nativo products are a mixture of trifloxystrobin tebuconazole.  XPro products are a mix of bixafen and prothioconazole, while Luna contains fluopyram and pyrimethanil.
- Herbicides are marketed primarily for field crops and orchards. Liberty brands containing glufosinate are used for general weed control. Capreno containing a mixture of thiencarbazone-methyl and tembotrione is used for grass and broad-leaf control.
- Insecticides are marketed according to specific crop and insect pest type. Foliar insecticides include Belt containing flubendiamide, which is marketed against Lepidopteran pests, and Movento containing spirotetramat, which is marketed against sucking insects. Neonicotinoids such clothianidin and imidacloprid are used as systemic seed treatments products such as Poncho and Goucho. In 2008 neonicotinoids came under increasing scrutiny over their environmental impacts starting in Germany. Neonicotinoid use has been linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations. In 2013, the European Union and a few non EU countries restricted the use of certain neonicotinoids. Parathion was discovered by scientists at IG Farben in the 1940s as an cholinesterase inhibitor insecticide. Its use is banned in most developed countries. Propoxur is a carbamate insecticide that was introduced by Bayer in 1959.
- Polyurethanes accounted for €6.28 billion revenue in 2014, approximately 15% of overall revenues. Key applications include thermal insulation, adhesives, electrical housings, and as a component of footwear and mattresses.
- Polycarbonates such as Bayer's Makrolon are highly impact-resistant plastics that are widely used in electronics, automotive, and construction applications.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
In 1904, the company founded the sports club TuS 04 ("Turn- und Spielverein der Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co."), later SV Bayer 04 ("Sportvereinigung Bayer 04 Leverkusen"), finally becoming TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen ("Turn- und Sportverein") in 1984, generally, however, known simply as Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The club is best known for its football team, but has been involved in many other sports, including athletics, fencing, team handball, volleyball, boxing, and basketball. TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen is one of the largest sports clubs in Germany. The company also supports similar clubs at other company sites, including Dormagen (particularly handball), Wuppertal (particularly volleyball), and Krefeld-Uerdingen (featuring another former Bundesliga football club, SC Bayer 05 Uerdingen, now KFC Uerdingen 05).
On 28 August 2008, an explosion occurred at the Bayer CropScience facility at Institute, West Virginia, United States. A runaway reaction ruptured a tank and the resulting explosion killed two employees. The ruptured tank was close to a methyl isocyanate tank which was undamaged by the explosion.
Awards and recognition
In October 2008, Bayer's Canadian division was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Canadian division was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by the Toronto Star newspaper. Bayer USA was given a score of 85 (out of 100) in the Human Rights Campaign's 2011 Corporate Equality Index, a measure of gay and lesbian workplace equality.
Notes and references
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