Bayer's recent positive run in drug development is set to continue with five candidates expected to hit phase III in 2015.
The German pharma company has introduced five new products to market in recent years, including two expected blockbusters in the form of eye condition treatment Eylea and next-generation anticoagulant Xarelto, and expects to follow that with five products in oncology, cardiology and women's health.
These candidates include finerenone (BAY 94-8862), a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist which the company is developing as an oral treatment for chronic heart failure.
Other mineralocorticoid receptors are currently in use, but these have significant side effects, according to Bayer, meaning the company could make an impact in the market with a safer alternative.
Bayer's other cardiology candidates include BAY 1021189, a oral soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator. It is also in development for chronic heart failure and a phase IIb study is expected to begin later this year.
The final cardiology drug in Bayer's pipeline is molidustat (BAY 85-3934). The drug is currently in phase II for anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease and/or end-stage renal disease.
Bayer has had success in oncology recently with the launch of Stivaraga (regorafenib) for stomach cancer and the company is looking to keep expanding its cancer portfolio with copanlisib (BAY 80-6946).
The candidate is an oral phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K) inhibitor that has demonstrated potential across a range of tumours. It is in phase I for patients with follicular lymphoma and phase II for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Bayer's final prospect of the five it is touting is sPRM (BAY 1002670), an oral progesterone receptor modulator for gynaecological conditions. A phase III study investigating its use in patients with symptomatic uterine fibroids is planned for mid-2014.
"Our pharma research and development has done a tremendous job of bringing five new products to the market offering physicians and patients new treatment alternatives for serious diseases," said Bayer CEO Dr Marijn Dekkers.
"Following our mission statement 'Science For A Better Life', the five chosen further drug candidates all have the potential to impact the way diseases are treated for the benefit of patients."