Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers has told investors that he expects healthcare sales to reach 20 billion euros in 2014, up from 17.2 billion euros last year.

Speaking at the company's headquarters in Leverkusen, Dr Dekkers (pictured) said that his optimism is based on "our well-stocked development pipeline in pharmaceuticals". In particular, Bayer expects  the anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to have peak sales of over 2 billion euros, while three other drugs - alpharadin for prostate cancer, regorafenib to treat advanced colorectal cancer and Eylea/VEGF Trap-Eye (aflibercept) - should also become billion-dollar  blockbusters.

Dr Dekkers added that "our goal is to successfully commercialize the late-stage pharmaceutical pipeline and take advantage of our business opportunities in the emerging markets".  Turnover from the pharmaceuticals segment should rise from 9.9 billion euros in 2011 to 11.5 billion euros in 2014, driven by sales in Asia (excluding Japan), Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Pharmaceutical revenues in those emerging markets are expected to increase by high-single-digit to low-double-digit percentages through 2014. The CEO added that "I am optimistic about Bayer’s medium-term development overall".

Natazia label expanded

Meantime, the US Food and Drug Administration  has approved a new indication for its combination oral contraceptive Natazia (estradiol/dienogest) tablets, this time  for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding not caused by any diagnosed conditions of the uterus, in women who choose to use a combined oral contraceptive for contraception.

Flemming Ornskov, head of strategic marketing general medicine at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, said that "as the first combined oral contraceptive treatment for HMB, Natazia represents a non-invasive treatment approach…in addition to our intrauterine system Mirena", the firm’s levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine contraceptive system,

Natazia was approved in the USA in May 2010 and has been marketed since May 2009 in Europe as Qlaira.