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Bayer buoyant as new products drive pharma

Xarelto, Stivarga, Eylea and Xofigo all perform will in third quarter
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Bayer posted a healthy set of third-quarter earnings after its crop of new medicines drove pharma sales up more than 3 per cent.

The German group's drugs unit had revenues of € 2.82bn on the back of a brisk sales of new anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban), eye medicine Eylea (aflibercept) and cancer drugs Stivarga (regorafenib) and Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride), which chief executive Marijn Dekkers said represented an "outstanding performance".

Operating profit for the group as a whole rose to $2.7bn from $2.5bn a year earlier, beating analyst expectations, while total revenues were flat at €9.66bn thanks to a lacklustre performance by Bayer's materials science business, which makes plastics.

For pharma however the news was pretty much all positive. Xarelto romped forward with a 219 per cent rise to €259m in the quarter, driven by gains in Japan, Germany and France and a new indication in Europe for acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Meanwhile Eylea, which was approved a year ago for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and recently added central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) to its label, contributed another €85m.

Stivarga for colorectal cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) added €51m in the quarter, while Xofigo for castration-resistant prostate cancer contributed €12m, having only been approved in the US in May.

There were also gains for Bayer's established product portfolio, with haemophilia drug Kogenate (recombinant factor VIII) rising 14.5 per cent to €321m, although multiple sclerosis drug Betaferon/Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) which slumped almost 7 per cent to €256m as competition from new oral drugs such as Novartis' Gilenya (fingolimod) and Biogen Idec's Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) started to bite.

Analysts said the new products bode well for the company's 2014 growth, particularly as Bayer is adding to them with the likes of pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas (riociguat) which was launched in its first market, Canada, last month and has just been approved in the US.

Despite the strong performance in pharma, Bayer trimmed its sales forecasts for the year to the bottom end of its previous €40-€41bn range, mainly because of exchange rate factors impacting strong drug sales in the US.

"We are maintaining our guidance, although it is increasingly ambitious," said Dekkers.

Article by
Phil Taylor

1st November 2013

From: Sales

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