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The moves come as Bayer seeks approval from Berkeley leaders for a new 30-year master plan that would allow the Germany-based company to build 1 million square feet of production, research and office space and add some 1,000 employees over that period.

At the forefront of Bayer's big plans are cell therapies, which employ genetically engineered cells to fix blood cancers and potentially more diseases, and one-shot-and-done gene therapies that insert a correct copy of a gene to replace a defective, disease-causing gene.

Those initiatives are central...