Shares in Bayer rose nearly 4 percent Monday, two days after the company reported detailed results from a late-stage trial of its experimental prostate cancer treatment, Alpharadin (radium-223 chloride). The data showed that the agent significantly prolonged the life of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and symptomatic bone metastases compared to placebo. UniCredit analyst Maxwell Craig remarked that currently “Bayer is our top pick in EU pharmaceuticals.”
The analyst noted that with the expected launch of three drugs that could record blockbuster sales, including Alpharadin and the oral anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban), the company “has arguably the richest pharma-pipeline newsflow over the next 12 months.” The other medicine, Eylea (aflibercept), is being developed by Bayer and partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for various ophthalmology indications, including wet age-related macular degeneration.
Last week, European regulators recommended expanding approval of Xarelto to include use for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in adults with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. The European Medicines Agency also backed use of the drug for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and the prevention of recurrent DVT and pulmonary embolism in adults who have suffered a previous acute DVT. The product is already authorised to prevent venous blood clots in adults undergoing elective hip or knee replacement surgery.
Craig remarked that although Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer’s similar drug Eliquis “looks very good…Xarelto will have a significant headstart, once-daily dosing [versus twice daily] and the additional venous-clot indications.”