Bayer CropScience to buy RTP's Athenix

STAFF WRITERAugust 19, 2009 

Bayer CropScience agreed to acquire Athenix, a Research Triangle Park biotechnology company developing genetically engineered corn and soybean.

Athenix was founded in 2001 and has about 65 employees. Terms of the deal announced this morning weren't disclosed. More details will likely be announced when the deal wins regulatory approval, probably in the next month.

Athenix's seeds are designed to be pest-resistant, so farmers don't have to use as much pesticide and herbicide.

Buying the company would bolster Bayer CropScience's presence in the biotech crop industry. Bayer CropScience announced in May that it will open a new research and development center in Morrisville, creating 128 jobs over five years.

The company, a division of the German conglomerate, already employs more than 400 at its North American headquarters in RTP. Bayer CropScience makes pesticides and other crop protection products.

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