Year Established: 1971
Revenues: $45,278 (+13%)
Pharma Revenues: $19,154 (-1%)
Net Income: $1,934 (-77%)
R&D: $6,000 (+16%)
TOP SELLING DRUGS
|Asprin Cardio||Myocardial infarction prophylaxis||$658||0%|
After Bayer made the mega $63 billion deal for Monsanto, turning it into the world’s largest agro-chemical maker and seed producer, it was forced to make some major overhauls.
The company announced at the end of the year it would be axing 12,000 jobs throughout the crop science, pharma and consumer units. Of the job losses, roughly 1,250 were in pharma with 350 related directly to a new manufacturing facility in Wuppertal, Germany that the company will not use, focusing all recombinant factor VIII production at its Berkeley, CA site instead.
In addition, as this issue went to press Bayer had already sold off the iconic Coppertone skin care brand and was still looking for a buyer for the Dr. Scholl’s foot care brand and its animal health unit. China’s Fosun International, parent of Fosun Pharma, was on the hunt for the animal health business, looking to partner with private equity to make an offer—the sale could be worth nearly $8 billion if it goes down.
With all the shake-ups, pharma sales were off by just one percent for the year ($19.2 bn) when factoring in exchange rates. Growth in pharma is being driven primarily driven by its top selling drug Xarelto and Eylea, with several promising late-stage R&D pipeline candidates. Sales of the oral anticoagulant Xarelto were up 17% and eye medicine Eylea climbed 21% while cancer drugs Stivarga and Xofigo, and the pulmonary hypertension treatment Adempas advanced by 13.5%.
Looking ahead to the eventual loss of exclusivity for Xarelto and Eylea, Bayer is amping up its oncology pipeline. At the end of 2017 it made a deal with Loxo Oncology to develop and commercialize larotrectinib and LOXO-195, Loxo Oncology’s franchise of highly selective TRK inhibitors for patients with TRK fusion cancers. A year later, in November 2018, FDA approved larotrectinib, which is now sold under the brand name Vitrakvi.
More good news came on the cancer treatment front when Bayer reported positive results of the Phase III study of darolutamide, a novel androgen receptor antagonist of for the oral treatment of prostate cancer that is being developed jointly by Bayer and the Finnish biopharmaceutical company Orion Corporation.
Research and development of new immunotherapy approaches in oncology continued through a partnership with Compugen Ltd., a company focused on predictive discovery and development of therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. COM902, its lead anti-TIGIT antibody, advanced into manufacturing for an investigational new drug (IND) application that was anticipated in 2019. The companies entered into a process development and manufacturing service agreement to produce COM902 for future use in clinical trials.
With the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center it signed a five-year collaboration agreement to accelerate the development of novel targeted treatments based on patient or tumor characteristics for which current therapies have not shown satisfactory clinical efficacy. Bayer will contribute early stage as well as clinical assets from its development pipeline for further clinical development at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The MD Anderson Cancer Center will bring in its translational and clinical expertise to help accelerate ongoing and future clinical trials.
Bayer entered a few collaborations during the year outside the cancer realm. With the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Bayer launched the joint Precision Cardiology Laboratory, which will pursue novel scientific insights to enable the development of new therapies for patients with cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure. Heart failure—a general diagnosis given when the heart doesn’t pump effectively—is a composite of multiple factors, and as such requires new tools and methods to gain deeper knowledge to benefit patients. The scientists at the joint laboratory will combine Broad Institute’s methods for basic science discovery such as single cell sequencing and clinical expertise with Bayer’s long experience in drug development to discover new potential therapeutics.
Furthermore, Bayer and Haplogen GmbH, a Vienna-based biotechnology company, entered into a multi-year research collaboration agreement to identify new drug candidates for the treatment of pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a common and heterogeneous respiratory disease that causes breathlessness and predisposes to exacerbations and serious illness. Respiratory viral infections are one frequent cause of COPD exacerbations. One possible treatment approach for COPD exacerbations is to disrupt the multiplication of the responsible virus by inhibiting its replication. The goal of the research alliance is to develop new antiviral compounds addressing the high unmet medical need in reducing COPD exacerbations.
At the start of 2019, Bayer and Kyoto University agreed on a strategic research alliance to jointly identify new drug targets for the treatment of pulmonary diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The goal of the research alliance is to identify specific targets and pathways that are causing the disease and to discover new treatments to modulate these pathways and prevent further lung functions decline. Bayer has an option for the exclusive use of the collaboration results.