By Michael Erman and Patrick Wingrove
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bayer AG plans to spend $1 billion on drug research and development in the U.S. this year as it works to double its sales in the country by the end of the decade, Bayer’s top U.S. pharmaceutical executive told Reuters.
Sebastian Guth, president of Bayer’s pharmaceuticals business in the Americas, also said in an interview on Wednesday that the company had raised the number of U.S. employees working on marketing for its pharmaceutical business by around 50% over the last three years, and plans to expand on that by another 75% by 2030.
“It’s time for us to double down on the U.S.,” Guth said, noting that Bayer plans to sell the drugs it is developing itself in the country, rather than partner with U.S. companies like it has in the past.
Bayer is looking to build up its portfolio of new drugs as it hopes to improve share prices, which have been hit by concerns over litigation surrounding weedkiller Roundup and a lack of trust in the company’s leadership.
It named a new Chief Executive last month, recruiting former Roche executive Bill Anderson to replace embattled CEO Werner Baumann, who had previously said he would hold on until the end of his current term in April 2024.
Guth said he expects peak sales of 12 billion euros from cancer drug Nubeqa, kidney medication Kerendia, and two of its top pipeline assets, experimental stroke drug asundexian and experimental women’s health drug elinzanetant. He said he expects more than half of those sales to come from the U.S.
“If you look at what we have ahead of us in the U.S., I see very real opportunity to double that business,” he said.
(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by David Gregorio)