Three key ingredients for Bayer’s future growth.
Datamonitor Healthcare analyst, Colin White, takes us through three projects that will drive future growth highlighted at Bayer’s Perspective on Innovation 2014 Meeting on 2nd December.
By Colin White, Lead Analyst
4 December 2014
I am the Lead Analyst for Oncology at Datamonitor Healthcare. I joined Datamonitor in 2009, having previously worked as ...
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Three projects that will drive future growth were highlighted at Bayer’s Perspective on Innovation 2014 Meeting, held in Leverkusen on 2 December 2014. The company singled out the protein free formulation of its blockbuster hemophilia A therapy Kogenate (BAY 81-8973), regorafenib eye drops for wet age-related macular degeneration, and the androgen receptor inhibitor ODM-201, which is partnered with Orion.
BAY 81-8973 is a fVIII therapy that does not contain human- or animal-derived proteins and was developed as a follow-on to Kogenate FS. It could allow for flexible dosing of 2-3 times per week but it is unclear if this will bolster prescribing of the Kogenate franchise, or be sufficient to enable BAY 81-8973 to compete effectively with long-acting rfVIII therapies (eg Biogen’s Eloctate). Dr Kemal Malik, head of Innovation and the North America and Latin America regions at Bayer, noted that a filing for approval for BAY 81-8973 is expected before the end of 2014. In March the German company made a major investment in manufacturing capacity for its hemophilia A franchise, a sign that it intends to compete hard as a new generation of competition comes to market (scripintelligence.com, 12 March 2014).
Meanwhile, if effective, regorafenib eye drops could potentially eliminate the need for painful eye injections in the treatment of wet AMD. A phase II trial started in October 2014. Regorafenib is a VEGF inhibitor like Bayer’s Eylea (aflibercept) or Roche’s Lucentis (ranibizumab) and it is hoped that it will be similarly effective as a treatment for wet AMD. Using an oily suspension Bayer has created a drop formulation which if effective would be an extremely desirable alternative to injecting the drugs into a patient’s eyeball.
ODM-201 has a similar mechanism of action to approved prostate cancer therapy Xtandi (enzalutamide; Medivation/Astellas) and so its potential largely depends on whether or not is provides an advantage over this drug. ODM-201 is already in Phase III development and BioMedTracker views ODM-201 as having an above average likelihood of gaining approval.
Bayer will be hoping that these innovations can provide a new wave of products that will enable it to maintain growth now that it is solely focused as a Life Sciences business.
The company has enjoyed a flow of new product launches in recent years that have enabled it to become one of the fastest growing global pharmaceutical companies: its 12% sales growth to $10.8bn in the first nine months of 2014 was driven by the $2.6bn generated by five key newer products: Xarelto, Adempas, Xofigo, Stivarga and Eylea (scripintelligence.com, 30 October 2014). CEO Dr Marijn Dekkers told the meeting he expects that these products will achieve combined sales of $3.4bn in 2014.
Datamonitor Healthcare anticipates these products to make combined sales of $5.6bn by 2023 with 79% of the sales coming from Xarelto and Eylea.
Sales forecast for Bayer’s launch products driving growth ($m)
Source: Datamonitor Healthcare
Bayer’s Focus Going Forward
Bayer Healthcare’s strategy with pharmaceuticals has been to focus on areas of high unmet medical need such as cardiology, hematology, oncology and gynecological therapy. At the conference Dr Malik spoke about Bayer’s plans for future innovation and about how these would increasingly rely on an understanding of the genome and molecular pathways that are generic to all forms of life. By understanding these processes they hope to identify molecules that have innovative mechanisms of action and that could potentially be useful to humans, animals and plants.
Datamonitor Healthcare believes that for the pharmaceutical business this will mean a shift away from therapy areas where Bayer has traditionally been strong like Genitourinary and towards areas like Oncology.
Bayer’s therapy area dynamics
Source: Datamonitor Healthcare; company-reported information
R&D budget and new innovations
The importance of maintaining innovation within Bayer Healthcare’s pharmaceuticals division was recognized and Dr Dekkers revealed that Bayer’s R&D budget for 2014 was $3.9bn with 59% ($2.3bn) going to the Pharma division.
With Bayer Healthcare’s growth primarily being driven by sales of Xarelto and Eylea this investment will be crucial to bringing a new series of products to market and ensuring greater diversity in Bayer’s pharmaceuticals portfolio.
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This article was originally published on SCRIP Intelligence. Please click here to view the original article.