(News Bulletin 247) – The German group plunges on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, undermined by the cessation of its clinical trials relating to the development of a new anticoagulant, due to a lack of effectiveness.

The German chemical-pharmaceutical group Bayer fell on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Monday morning, after interrupting clinical trials on its anticoagulant drug Asundexian due to its low effectiveness.

Bayer shares are currently plunging more than 16% at 10:10 a.m. while the Dax, its benchmark index, is only down 0.15% at 15,895.80 points.

The development of this drug was one of the most important projects underway for the group and its termination is “a hard blow”, according to Jefferies analysts.

Less effective than an existing drug

Asundexian, which is not currently authorized in any country, should, according to Bayer’s forecasts, generate a turnover of “5 billion euros from 2026”, indicated a door -spokesperson of the group to AFP.

Bayer announced on Sunday evening that a “phase III study examining Asundexian compared to Apixaban (an existing drug, Editor’s note) in patients with atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke, is being stopped prematurely” .

The move followed the recommendation of the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC), an independent body which oversaw the studies.

The latter “showed lower effectiveness of Asundexian, within the framework of this study”, called OCEANIC-AF, according to Bayer.

“Appropriate steps will be taken to close the OCEANIC-AF study and patients will be contacted by their doctors/treaters to discuss next steps,” added the German company.

Asundexian will, however, continue to be the subject of another clinical study, called OCEANIC-STROKE, examining its “effectiveness (…) for the prevention of ischemic stroke” in certain patients.

New legal setback in the United States

This is the second bad news in quick succession for Bayer. The group was ordered once again on Friday, by an American jury, to pay more than 1.5 billion dollars to three plaintiffs whose cancer was allegedly caused by the weedkiller Roundup, based on glyphosate. Bayer will appeal this decision.

In the United States, this new legal setback suffered by Monsanto is the fourth in a month, seeming to reverse a cycle after a series of nine judgments in favor of the company, mired in legal proceedings since its takeover of Monsanto in 2018.

These events also take place in a context of restructuring of the group, led by its new CEO, the American Bill Anderson who arrived in June.

In particular, he announced at the beginning of November a “significant” reduction in the number of management positions in the group in order to “improve the performance” of the company.

(With AFP)