The next generation of herbicide tolerance in soybeans from the German chemical-pharmaceutical company Bayer was launched in 2021 with XtendFlex soybeans.
Its attributes offer tolerance to the herbicides glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate.
In addition, the Roundup Ready Xtend cropping system provides soybean growers with industry-leading yields and very good weed control options.
Serenade Soil Activ, its new organic option, is available from early 2021.
This new product offers growers ease of use with lower application rates and is designed to expand Bayer’s business in growing markets.
Serenade Soil Activ launched in the United States in 2021, with other countries to follow in the coming years.
On the other hand, the Intacta 2 Xtend soybean, which obtained all regulatory approvals, was successfully introduced in Brazil for the 2020/2021 growing season.
This improvement to the Intacta franchise will support farmers in South America with multiple modes of action for insect control.
VTPro4 maize has been released for the 2021/22 growing season in Brazil and Argentina and has received all necessary regulatory approvals.
This new stacked offering includes an additional mode of above and below ground insect control to combat evolving resistance.
Bayer and its patents
The company regularly applies for patent protection for its innovations in both chemical crop protection and seed/biotechnology.
However, the link between patents and products is relatively complex, as products often combine multiple technologies that are patented differently in different areas of the world, and patents are often granted only at the end of the product’s life cycle.
Although the patents of some of its active plant protection ingredients, such as glyphosate, trifloxystrobin, prothioconazole or imidacloprid, have already expired, the company has a portfolio of patents on formulations, mixtures and/or manufacturing processes for these active ingredients.
Additionally, some of its younger active ingredients, such as fluopyram and bixaphene, are still protected by patents in the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, and other countries until at least 2023.
Fluopyram is protected by patents until 2024 in the United States. United States and 2025 in Brazil. Tetraniliprole has patent protection until 2029 in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada and other countries, and in the United States its patent protection extends until 2030.
While its patent coverage on first generation Roundup Ready soybeans has expired, some varieties, for example in the United States, are still protected by variety patents.
Patent coverage for its second-generation Roundup Ready 2 Yield trait for soybeans extends through at least the mid-2020s.
Also their Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans have patent coverage until at least the mid-2020s.
Bayer has also made considerable progress in developing its late-stage pharmaceutical portfolio and launching promising products.
The most notable examples here are its cancer drug Nubeqa, its cardiovascular drugs Verquvo and Kerendia, and its development candidate elinzanetant in women’s health care.
The company believes that these new drugs are blockbuster candidates, each with the potential to generate peak annual sales in the billions.