Bayer cuts its losses on new Betaferon

You win some, you lose some. Bayer is abandoning plans to launch a bigger dose of its multiple sclerosis treatment Betaferon. An internal study found that the 500 mcg dose wasn't any more effective than the already-on-the-market 250 mcg dose, nor was it better than Copaxone, the MS drug made by Teva. Bayer won't ask regulators for approval to sell the new strength, and it's taking a $218.6 million charge against third-quarter earnings as a result.

The BEYOND study did have one bit of good news in it: Fewer patients taking the 250 mcg dose of Betaferon dropped out because of side effects. The drop-out rate for that drug was just 13 percent, compared with 17 percent for Copaxone.

- see Bayer's release on the study
- read the article from the International Herald Tribune