Bayer exec says company will hike R&D spending

Bayer will be increasing its R&D spending in 2010 and enter alliances to fight diseases like TB that largely affect developing nations, according to Werner Wenning (photo), the German group's chairman.

Speaking at the firm's Perspective on Sustainability press conference in Leverkusen, Wenning noted that Bayer's R&D expenditure is likely to rise next year from its 2009 level of €2.9 billion--a level that he called unprecedented in the group's 146-year history. "Only through innovation can our company generate the growth that is essential to safeguard its sustained success," Wenning said during the conference, adding that innovations "are the driver of sustainability."

Board member Wolfgang Plischke confirmed that a rise is likely but would not say by how much, as budget discussions are about to take place, according to an article in PharmaTimes World News.

Arthur Higgins, head of Bayer Healthcare, told PharmaTimes that he was excited by a collaboration with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. They will develop a combination therapy using the active ingredient moxifloxacin manufactured by Bayer which could cut the existing treatment period of six months by a third. Although the battle against the disease was believed to have been largely won, roughly 9 million new cases of active TB are emerging each year and it is estimated that two million people die from it annually. "It's a bigger killer than HIV," Higgins told PharmaTimes.

- check out the Bayer press release
- read Wenning's speech and accompanying slide show
- read the PharmaTimes article