Bayer has come down firmly on the side of continued R&D investment and is bullish about the prospects for its pharmaceuticals business, which is expecting to reel in "substantial" revenues from new products hitting the market over the coming 18 months and has lifted its forecasts for "several products" already on the market. 

Heading up the dream team of products for Bayer is the thrombosis drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban), which could pull in more than 2 billion euros a year following recent approvals for new indications in Europe, while the eye drug VEGF Trap, and the cancer treatments Alpharadin and reforafenib are also expected to do well. If all goes to plan, the combined annual peak sales for these products could total 5 billion euros, the firm points out. 

Pinning its sail to the R&D mast, the Germany-headquartered firm notes it is "again" planning an R&D budget of 3 billion, of which two-thirds will be heading to its healthcare arm. "Perseverance is a vital quality in research, and that is particularly true for the pharmaceuticals business," says CEO Marijn Dekkers, adding that its efforts in previous year are now beginning to bear fruit. The firm currently has 40 projects in clinical development.