Bayer eyes 16% pharma growth on new meds

Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers is touting Xarelto's multibillion-dollar prospects again. This time, though, it's just one of four prospective blockbusters drawing Dekkers' praise. At a presentation to investors in Frankfurt today, the chief executive cited Xarelto and company in predicting a 16% increase in prescription drug sales over the next three years.

The four drugs that give Dekkers his bragging rights? In addition to Xarelto--which Dekkers still expects to hit 2 billion euros in annual sales ($2.6 billion)--there's the new macular degeneration product VEGF Trap-Eye (approved in the U.S., where it's sold by developer Regeneron under the brand name Eylea). Then there are two in-development cancer drugs, alpharadin and regorafenib. All together, they're expected to bring in 5 billion euros a year, or about $6.5 billion.

"The main reason why I'm optimistic for our healthcare subgroup is our well-stocked development pipeline in pharmaceuticals," Dekkers said at the investor event.

Bayer is also expecting a lot from emerging markets. The company is looking for pharma sales growth rates in those countries of high-single-digits to low-double-digits through 2014. In all, Bayer predicts it will hit 11.5 billion euros ($15 billion) in annual drug sales by then.

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- see the Reuters news

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