Bayer predicts blockbuster success for four of its late-stage drugs

You can count Bayer among the Big Pharma companies unwilling to back down from their multibillion-dollar gambles on drug research. The company boldly predicted that four of its late-stage programs are likely blockbusters, and it is committing €2 billion--two thirds of its total R&D budget--for drug research in 2012 as Bayer execs vow to stick to their big research guns.

"We have achieved major progress with our pharma pipeline in 2011 and are therefore lifting our sales forecasts for several products," said Bayer CEO Dr. Marijn Dekkers. "Overall, we believe that four of the drug products currently in advanced development have the potential to become blockbusters, meaning that each of these products can generate peak sales of EUR 1 billion per year and more."

The blockbuster list includes VEGF Trap-Eye along with the cancer treatments Alpharadin and regorafenib. In the case of Xarelto, "Bayer continues to expect peak sales of more than EUR 2 billion per year following the granting of regulatory approval by the European Commission in the new indications this week." Add it all up, and success for these drugs could translate into $6.5 billion in annual revenue.

Bayer now has 40 drug development programs in the clinic, and its CEO predicts that it faces good odds for continued success. "Perseverance is a vital quality in research, and that is particularly true for the pharmaceuticals business. Following our efforts in past years, our pipeline is now beginning to bear fruit," said Dekkers.

- read the press release
- here's the Bloomberg report

Special Report: Xarelto - 15 top blockbuster contenders