JPM23: Bayer hikes sales targets for Kerendia, Nubeqa to $3B each

For Bayer's splashy reveal at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the drugmaker raised its peak sales projection for heart medication Kerendia and prostate cancer treatment Nubeqa to 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) each.

The duo lead the company’s fleet of new growth drivers, which now have a peak sales potential of more than 12 billion euros ($12.9 billion) combined, Bayer said (PDF) Tuesday ahead of pharma chief Stefan Oelrich's presentation.

In response to the adjustment, Bayer's share price rose by 6.5% on Tuesday.

The pharma target hike is one bright spot for the company after its disastrous $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto in 2018 which brought a mountain of litigation for weed killer Roundup. The losses incurred by the acquisition have forced Bayer to execute divestitures across its three sectors—pharma, consumer health and crop science.

Aside from Kerendia and Nubeqa, Bayer’s biggest hopes rest with a drug that has yet to be approved. Asundexian is currently in phase 3 testing as a first-in-class FXIa inhibitor to prevent stroke, atrial fibrillation and heart attack. Bayer has pegged its peak sales potential at 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion).

One more compound with blockbuster potential, Bayer says, is elinzanetant, a first-in-class, non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes in menopausal women.

“The strong launches of Nubeqa and Kerendia and our compelling late-stage development portfolio” provide growth potential that can increase “significantly in the next couple of years,” Oelrich said in a release.

The improved outlook for Kerendia, which was approved in 2021 for chronic kidney disease associated with Type 2 diabetes, comes from recent evidence showing it can provide benefits in combination with well-established SGLT2 diabetes treatments. Previously, Bayer viewed SGLT2 drugs as the competition.

As for Nubeqa, which was approved in 2019, the drug has a chance to become the standard of care for prostate cancer patients from early to late stages of the disease, Bayer says.