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Bayer's Latest Stage 2 Trial Could Be A Boon For Shares

Bayer's Latest Stage 2 Trial Could Be A Boon For Shares

Bayer AG (ADR) (OTC: BAYRY) recently finished a mid-stage trial for a heart failure drug, finerenone, which showed a "striking" decline in deaths. Now, a Reuters article informed that the company will move into a final-stage trial before the end of the year. It should be noted, however, that the experimental drug will not reach the market for a few years still.

A Look At MRAs

Finerenone is “an improved version of a troublesome class of heart drugs called mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs),” Reuters analysts Ben Hirschler and Ludwig Burger explained. The existing MRA, branded as Inspra by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), causes unusually high potassium levels in blood. This leads to irregular heartbeat and – sometimes – even cardiac arrest.

“The two older medicines, whose patents have expired, are also linked to kidney problems,” the authors added.

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On the other hand, Bayer's drug’s mechanism seems to avoid the high potassium issues, and thus, has cardiologists keeping a close eye on its developments.

A Look At Finerenone

After better-than-expected phase II results, larger tests will be conducted in order to confirm the benefits. More than 3,600 patients with heart failure, diabetes and/or kidney disease will be enrolled in the phase III study.

Hirschler and Burger explicated that “there has been little progress for more than a decade in treating heart failure where the heart fails to pump enough blood around the body, but competition is starting to heat up. Novartis recently won approval for its drug Entresto that can cut the risk of cardiovascular death and hospital admissions by a fifth, and which is forecast by analysts to generate annual sales of more than $5 billion by 2020.”

Nonetheless, the analysts assured finerenone may reach the market by 2020 or 2021, so prospects remain uncertain. Having said this, Berenberg and Deutsche Bank have already modeled potential sales of $1.8 billion and $2.0 billion, respectively.

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