Partners Regeneron and Bayer are hoping to piggy-back on their success with the wet age-related macular degeneration blockbuster Eylea, reuniting to develop a new drug that could become part of a combination therapy for the disease.
Sales of Bayer's Eylea have taken off since the EU greenlighted the eye drug in late in 2012. But now, Germany's cost watchdog has thrown up a roadblock for the second time. Thursday, the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) said it was unable to assess whether Eylea provided an advantage over its rival, Novartis' Lucentis--an opinion that could hurt sales for Bayer on its home turf.
Can a crop science team of ag-bio investigators provide some real insights that could help advance new drugs for humans and animals? Bayer believes so, and one of its top researchers says you can expect to see the first tangible fruits of its hybrid R&D effort in the next few years.
Bayer considers itself a disciplined M&A strategist. Apparently, its discipline stretched far enough to accommodate a $500 million increase in its bid for Algeta, the Norwegian drugmaker that's also its partner on the Xofigo cancer treatment.
It took a half-billion-dollar sweetener, but Bayer has closed the deal to buy its cancer drug partner Algeta for $2.9 billion in cash. The buyout leaves Bayer with full control of the prostate cancer drug Xofigo along with a pipeline that includes a potential next-gen successor to the targeted radioactive therapy.
Just weeks after selling its blood-transfusion business and announcing a new strategy focusing on pharmaceutical development, Novartis is reportedly opening the books on its animal-health business to potential buyers. Bayer may be the top suiter.
When Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers stepped into the job in 2010, he had a trove of cash, and he promised to spend a big chunk on deals. A $23 billion chunk, in fact. Since then, the German conglomerate hasn't exactly been audacious in the M&A arena. Bayer has snapped up a healthcare company or three, but it's quick to back away if a price gets too rich.
Earlier this year, Bayer happily heralded the FDA's approval of Xofigo for castration-resistant prostate cancer as an important milestone for its steadily growing portfolio of cancer therapies. And now the German pharma company has set its sights on bagging Algeta--the Norwegian company that discovered the therapy and subsequently partnered with Bayer--for $2.4 billion.
Bayer has taken another step toward fulfilling blockbuster ambitions for its eye drug Eylea. The German drugmaker asked European regulators to approve the vision-loss treatment for patients with diabetic macular edema. With diabetes on the rise all over the world, the new indication could offer long-term growth for the already fast-rising drug.
Eye drug Eylea and blood thinner Xarelto are pretty good products for any drugmaker to have in its lineup, and Bayer's got them both. Sales of those new stars have been plentiful, and they helped the German company raise earnings 7.7% for the third quarter, the company announced Thursday.