Bayer has boosted its consumer care business by acquiring fellow Germany-based company Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk, which specialises in pharmacy-only herbal medicines.

Privately-owned Steigerwald’s portfolio includes Iberogast for functional gastrointestinal disorders and Laif for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Financial details have not been disclosed but Steigerwald noted that sales last year reached 61.3 million euros.

The company employs 180 people and has its headquarters and manufacturing site in Darmstadt. Bayer has committed to take over all of Steigerwald’s employees.

Bayer chief executive Marijn Dekkers said the transaction "is further evidence of our commitment to augment organic growth with strategic bolt-on acquisitions". He added that the deal "broadens our product offering for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and gives us the opportunity to enhance our presence in Germany, the fast-growing regions of east-central Europe, and the Commonwealth of Independent States".

Riociguat filed in Japan

Meantime, Bayer has filed riociguat for the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) for approval in Japan.

Kemal Malik, head of global development at Bayer HealthCare, noted that to date, "there is no pharmacological treatment available for CTEPH" and "there is an urgent unmet medical need for patients for whom surgery is not a viable treatment option or whose disease persists or is recurrent after surgery". Earlier this year, riociguat was submitted for inoperable CTEPH and pulmonary arterial hypertension in the USA and Europe.