- Bayer reported €12.2 billion ($14.3 million) worth of sales during the second quarter, a 3% uptick from the same period last year that was lifted by strong returns from the German company's pharmaceutical business.
- Stroke prevention drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and eye medication Eylea (aflibercept) were once again the top two earners. Sales for the drugs grew around 18% and 11%, respectively, to €834 million ($975 million) and €458 million ($536 million) after currency adjustments, and accounted for almost a third of Bayer's total income from the unit.
- That solid performance helped offset the company's consumer health division, which, also after adjustments, saw a 2.2% year-over-year drop in sales. Bayer attributed the decline to greater stateside competition for its Coppertone sunscreen brand and a 12.3% sales slump for its antihistamine Claritin (loratadine), due in part to a more subdued U.S. allergy season.
Overall, Bayer's pharmaceutical products did well during the second quarter. For example, currency adjusted sales growth for its prostate cancer medication Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride) rose 28% to €105 million ($123 million) while sales for its other major oncology offering Stivarga (regorafenib) jumped up nearly 21% to €83 million ($97 million).
Xarelto, Stivarga and the pulmonary hypertension drug Adempas (riociguat) also saw double digit growth in the U.S.
The successes of Xofigo and Stivarga paint a brighter picture for Bayer's place in cancer. Last week, the company announced its investigational treatment for mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer, missed the primary endpoint of progression free survival in a Phase 2 study. And though it has a handful of oncology drugs in late-stage testing, Bayer isn't exactly stiff competition for heavyweights in the cancer therapy arena like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck and Roche.
Fortunately for Bayer, its portfolio and pipeline is diverse. The company's main growth products, which include the five aforementioned drugs, brought in €1.56 billion ($1.82 billion) during the second quarter, a nearly 17% increase from the same period a year prior.
Reasons for the revved up revenues varied. Eylea volume grew in Europe, as did the eye drug's sales in Australia and Canada. Stivarga, meanwhile, was aided by locking down a Food and Drug Administration approval in April as a second-line treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Looking ahead, Bayer has its eyes set on presenting in late August complete data from the COMPASS trial testing Xarelto's ability to prevent major adverse cardiac events. Should the results go in Xarelto's favor, it could lead to a big boon for bottom lines.
But while it's clear pharmaceutical development is important to Bayer, the company also has its hands full completing its mega-acquisition of Monsanto.
The financing for that transaction, as well as the tough U.S. market for the company's consumer health business, may have diluted the promise offered through drug sales gains.