Report: Bayer could sell key Alzheimer's-detecting drug

Amid the upheaval of Bayer's planned restructuring is speculation that the German drugmaker could divest its experimental drug florbetaben, which is intended to home in on an Alzheimer's marker for use in diagnosing the disorder, Reuters reported, citing news from the Financial Times Deutschland.

The divestiture of florbetaben--a radiolabeled tracer that attaches to beta-amyloid plaques that then become visible with PET scans--could come as part of Bayer's broader effort to reorganize its contrast agents unit, combining it with its Medrad diagnostic devices business. Reuters reports that florbetaben had entered late-stage testing in 2009 and Bayer projected the product to generate yearly sales of €250 to €500, but Bayer declined to comment to the news service about the divestiture of the drug.

Beta-amyloid plaque is a major marker for Alzheimer's and a target of drugs in development to treat the memory-stealing disease. As Reuters reports, Bayer's florbetaben has been touted as a key tool for diagnosing early-stage Alzheimer's, which is currently diagnosed with memory tests and other antiquated methods.

- read the Reuters story