Germany Pharma News: Bayer’s Stellar 2021; Vaccine Supplies Until 2029; BioNTech/Regeneron Cancer Partnership


The latest from German pharma, including Bayer’s 2021 financial results, the country’s plan to spend $3.14 billion on vaccine capacity to cover Covid-19 outbreaks until 2029, and Boehringer Ingleheim’s case for broader use of its diabetes drug.


Bayer’s 2021 annual report: €44.1 billion revenue, Crop Science grows double digits, Consumer Health posts “excellent performance, Pharma decreases due to “forward-looking investment” (Bayer)

“2021 was a successful year for us in which we achieved a lot. Our business performed markedly better than expected in all divisions, and we have exceeded our adjusted Group forecast. So we are on the right track,” said CEO Werner Baumann as he introduced the report.

“Of course, we are aware that not everything is going smoothly. In particular, we cannot be satisfied with the performance of our stock last year, which doesn’t remotely reflect the true value of our company,” he added.

“We believe the main reason for this is that investors are remaining cautious due to the glyphosate litigation in the United States. Yet here as well, we can report a number of positive developments last year.”


Germany locks in vaccine supply until 2029 (Endpoints)

Germany’s cabinet has approved a plan to spend $3.14 billion to ensure BioNTech, CureVac/GSK, CordenPharma and other vaccine manufactures have the production capacity to supply the country with enough Covid-19 vaccines for future outbreaks through 2029.

The contracts will keep up the increased production capabilities, Reuters reported Wednesday. An annual standby fee will help ensure that enough vaccine can be produced quickly, if needed. They also give the government the right to access production capacities if a new pandemic breaks out.


With trial success in kidney disease, Lilly, Boehringer make case for broader use of diabetes drug (Biopharma Dive)

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s drug Jardiance kept clinical trial participants with kidney disease from needing dialysis or a transplant, the companies announced, a finding that cements the diabetes pill’s potential as a treatment for a wider array of metabolic diseases.

The trial was expected to deliver results near the end of 2022, when at least half of the patients had been on treatment for three years. But Jardiance’s positive effects were so strong that clinical trial monitors advised the companies to stop testing early.


MorphoSys sends its Constellation drug work to Germany, shuttering US R&D and taking a $250M hit in reorganization (Endpoints)

When MorphoSys swooped in with a $1.7 billion deal to buy Constellation Pharmaceuticals last year, then CEO Jigar Raythatha paid tribute to the nearly 200 staffers who had been working on everything from discovery through late-stage work. Today, though, the German company said the only thing it wants to keep in the deal is in the clinic, and it’s exporting that work to Europe after shuttering everything else.


Merck KGaA Healthcare Head Happy with Old and New Mix (Scrip)

The German firm’s pharma chief Peter Guenter tells Scrip that while the firm’s lifecycle management of older products is industry-leading, “innovation is the lifeblood of any pharmaceutical company,” and he is confident Merck’s promising pipeline will augment its current big earners.


Bayer plots $1.6B investment at German pharma manufacturing sites, with digital transformation a key component (Fierce Pharma)

If you think Bayer’s recent $180 million sale of a drug manufacturing facility in Germany means the company is scaling back on production in its home country, think again.

Bayer plans to invest 1.4 billion euros ($1.55 billion) in its pharmaceuticals production sites in Bergkamen, Berlin, Leverkusen, Weimar and Wuppertal in the coming years. The money will be directed toward adding innovative technologies, new production facilities and digitization.


BioNTech and Regeneron expand their cancer partnership, pushing new Libtayo combo into NSCLC (Endpoints)

After going back to the negotiating table, BioNTech and Regeneron have come away with an expanded collaboration pushing their efforts into lung cancer.

The two built upon a previous deal in which researchers evaluated the PD-1 antibody Libtayo in combination with an experimental mRNA cancer vaccine. Whereas the earlier deal centered around a melanoma program, Tuesday’s partnership will focus on a candidate for NSCLC. No financials were disclosed, but the two noted they will share development costs 50-50.

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