New drug against cancer could bring billions of dollars to Bayer



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Bayer and its biotechnology partner Loxo Oncology are launching a new cancer drug in the United States. The US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the drug larotrectinib on Monday. Analysts believe the product, which will be sold under the name of Vitrakvi, will generate sales of about one billion dollars (880 million euros) a year.

The drug can be used to treat many types of cancer that have tumors affected by a rare genetic mutation. Bayer filed for EU approval in August.

The treatment should cost $ 32,800 per month

In the US, treatment with the drug should cost $ 32,800 per month. Bayer and Loxo offered financial support to patients and offered a refund if no clinical benefit occurred within 90 days of treatment. The rare genetic mutation of tumors occurs in the United States in no more than 3,000 people per year or in less than one percent of cancer patients with solid tumors. Currently, most cancer patients are not routinely tested for mutations in the tumor, making it difficult to locate those who could benefit from the drug. However, Bayer expects an increase in such tests.

Larotrectinib comes originally from Loxo Oncology labs. At the end of 2017, Bayer made an alliance with the US biotechnology company for the joint development and distribution of the drug and another active ingredient. As part of the cooperation, Loxo is seeking payments of up to $ 1.6 billion from Bayer. Leverkusen is responsible for marketing activities worldwide for larotrectinib outside the US. Bayer and Loxo Oncology will jointly distribute the product in the United States. (APA / Reuters)

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