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Bayer points to four blockbusters in portfolio

Company expects "substantial sales" from upcoming launches; invests in R&D

Bayer has delivered an optimistic appraisal of its pipeline prospects, highlighting four products which it believes will cross the €1bn sales barrier and become blockbusters.

The company also reaffirmed its commitment to invest in R&D with a budget of €3bn in 2012.

Bayer expects "substantial sales” from products that are scheduled to be launched over the next 18 months and is lifting its sales forecasts, according to chief executive Marijn Dekkers.

Leading the drug prospects is oral anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban). which Bayer expects to reach €2bn in sales at peak helped by recent approvals for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation patients and treatment and prevention of deep vein thrombosis.

The company is also positive about its prospects in acute coronary syndromes following  encouraging results in phase III testing.

Also predicated for success is VEGF Trap-Eye (aflibercept), which was approved in the US under the trade name Eylea for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in November and is in testing for a number of other eye diseases.

Bayer is predicting sales of €500m in wet AMD alone, and blockbuster status if it secures approval in additional indications such as diabetic macular oedema.

The final two potential blockbusters are both in the oncology field and have achieved "significant improvement of overall survival in trials", according to Dekkers.

Alpharadin is in phase III testing for bone metastases in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and should be filed for approval in the US and Europe in mid-2012.

Meanwhile, regorafenib is a novel oral multi-kinase inhibitor in phase III clinical development as a treatment for metastatic colorectal carcinomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumours, and is due to be filed in the former indication next year.

If marketing approvals are obtained as expected, the combined annual peak sales potential of these four products will be around €5bn, said Bayer.

"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.

22nd December 2011

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