Merck presents results from VICTORIA trial evaluating vericiguat » 10:1103/2803/28/20
Merck (MRK) announced the…
Merck (MRK) announced the presentation of results from the VICTORIA trial, a Phase 3 study evaluating the efficacy and safety of its investigational drug vericiguat, an orally administered soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator being developed to treat patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and following a worsening event. VICTORIA is the first contemporary outcomes study focused exclusively on symptomatic chronic heart failure patients following a worsening event. Vericiguat is being jointly developed with Bayer (BAYRY). Patients enrolled in VICTORIA were at high risk of hospitalization and cardiovascular death following a recent heart failure decompensation. Vericiguat, when given in combination with available heart failure therapies, met the primary efficacy endpoint of reducing the risk for the composite endpoint of heart failure hospitalization or cardiovascular death in patients with worsening chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, compared to placebo. A hazard ratio of 0.90 in this high risk population translated into a clinically relevant 4.2/100 patient-years absolute reduction in event rate. Based on this absolute risk reduction, the number needed to treat with vericiguat for one year to prevent a primary outcome event is approximately 24 patients. The safety profile of vericiguat was consistent with that reported in previous studies. Merck and Bayer plan to share VICTORIA data with regulatory authorities worldwide.
Bayer says special audit confirms due diligence appropriate for M&A transactions » 11:3303/2403/24/20
The voluntary special…
The voluntary special audit at Bayer AG has been completed following the presentation of the review report by Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Bocking of the Goethe University, Frankfurt, and has yielded a positive outcome for the company, Bayer announced. "The purpose of the audit, which was conducted on the basis of recent projects, was to evaluate the appropriateness of the company's internal specifications and requirements for material M&A transactions in the future. In his review report published on Tuesday, Bocking finds that Bayer's internal specifications and requirements for conducting due diligence in material M&A transactions are appropriate. He also confirms that numerous internal reporting lines through which employees tasked with due diligence investigations for material M&A transactions can communicate right up to top management level exist to an appropriate extent, and that the M&A transactions, the related procedures and reporting lines are monitored," the company stated.
Elanco: Acquisition of Bayer's animal health business seen closing mid year » 06:3403/2403/24/20
Elanco's (ELAN) excitement related to the addition of Bayer's (BAYRY) animal health business is unabated by the COVID-19 situation as it confirms the value of diversifying our companion animal business into the over-the-counter market. Likewise, the expanded global scale puts Elanco in a stronger position to weather tough business environments over the long-term as the combined company focuses on innovating to meet unmet needs of animals for veterinarians, farmers and pet owners across the globe. The pending acquisition continues to advance toward a mid-year 2020 closing. Elanco has received regulatory clearance in China, Colombia, Turkey and the Ukraine, and is continuing to collaborate with other key jurisdictions. Elanco has signed agreements to divest certain products it anticipates will be necessary to complete these reviews. Further, Elanco has fully secured financing to complete the transaction through its completed equity issuance and pricing of its Term Loan B earlier in the first quarter. Given the recent decline in interest rates, Elanco entered into derivative transactions to swap a portion of its floating interest rate on the $4.275B Term Loan B to a fixed rate obligation. These derivative transactions provide greater certainty on the Term Loan B interest expense. Elanco's first significant obligation after completing the acquisition is its $500M in senior notes due August 27, 2021. Both Bayer and Elanco continue to collaborate virtually, making significant progress toward Day 1 readiness, integration planning and value capture.
Elanco withdraws FY20 guidance due to COVID-19 impact » 06:3203/2403/24/20
As Elanco Animal Health…
As Elanco Animal Health (ELAN) evaluates the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is providing an update on its business and financial position, as well as the actions it is taking to support employees, customers and public health. "In this time of uncertainty, the health and well-being of our employees, customers, animals and the communities where we operate are our top priority," said Jeff Simmons, Elanco president and CEO. "Our team is actively undertaking precautionary measures to keep our employees safe, while continuing to provide our customers with the products they need. Such an unprecedented time underscores the critical importance of a safe, affordable food supply, particularly meat, milk and eggs, and the role of healthy pets, bringing much needed companionship to families everywhere." Simmons continued, "I remain confident in Elanco's long-term strategy and our ability to deliver on the commitments to our stakeholders. The underlying industry fundamentals remain strong and the diversity of the global Elanco business across farm animals and pets provides durability and balance. We are resolute in our acquisition of Bayer AG's (BAYRY) animal health business as it adds to our leadership position in animal health for the long-term." As the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving, Elanco is withdrawing its previously announced 2020 revenue and earnings per share guidance. Elanco is monitoring several global dynamics, from changing foreign currency rates and a dynamic animal protein market to declining veterinary clinic visits, the growing use of direct-to-consumer shipping, and sales through ecommerce and other alternative channels. The company is confident in its working capital and liquidity levels, while continuing to actively monitor the changing environment across the world. Elanco will provide an update on its Q1 earnings call in early May, based on information available at that time. The Elanco team remains focused and in execution mode, even as much of the employee base moves to remote working. The manufacturing plants and R&D labs are operational, and the company is closely monitoring distribution logistics. At this time, Elanco has not experienced any supply disruption and critical projects in the pipeline continue to advance. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and most other countries globally have deemed manufacturing and distribution of animal medicines as essential critical infrastructure and workforce. However, in an effort to support public health and slow the spread of the disease, Elanco moved its non-business critical work force to remote working globally, with the exception of China, which has begun to return to work. Elanco also removed sales representatives from the field in many countries, including the U.S. along with its companion animal distribution partners. However, the Elanco team continues to collaborate with customers via webinars, teleconference and video conferences and other remote options. Much like the human health system, the American Veterinary Medical Association, along with industry organizations across Europe and other countries, has recommended limiting patient care to acutely ill animals and emergencies, rescheduling annual exams and elective procedures. This guidance increases the importance of telemedicine, direct shipment and alternative channels, while underscoring the significance and value of Elanco's pending acquisition of Bayer AG's animal health business.
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Week in Review: How Trump's policies moved stocks » 08:1303/2103/21/20
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Bayer in talks with White House, FDA on malaria treatment Resochin for COVID-19 » 12:3803/1903/19/20
Bayer announced it is…
Bayer announced it is joining the U.S. Government's fight against COVID-19 with a donation of 3 million tablets of the drug Resochin, chloroquine phosphate. Resochin, a product discovered by Bayer in 1934 and indicated for prevention and treatment of malaria, also appears to have broad spectrum antiviral properties and effects on the body's immune response. New data from initial preclinical and evolving clinical research conducted in China, while limited, shows potential for the use of Resochin in treating patients with COVID-19 infection. Bayer in recent days has been in talks with the White House, HHS, CDC, and the FDA, offering any assistance we can provide with a focus on donating Resochin to help in the government's efforts to combat the virus. Currently not approved for use in the United States, Bayer is working with appropriate agencies on an Emergency Use Authorization for the drug's use in the U.S. Bayer thanks the Trump administration for moving quickly to enable this donation and will continue to work closely with the administration to support its efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
Marinus Pharmaceuticals appoints Sasha Damouni Ellis as VP, investor relations » 07:3503/1903/19/20
Marinus Pharmaceuticals (MRNS) announced the appointment of Sasha Damouni Ellis as Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, reporting to Scott Braunstein, M.D., CEO of Marinus. In this role, Damouni Ellis will lead strategic investor relations and communications programs, and will work closely with investors, employees, advocacy groups, patient organizations and the media. Immediately prior to joining the company, Damouni Ellis was Director of External Communications and Media Relations for Bayer U.S. (BAYRY).
Bayer price target lowered to EUR 76 from EUR 77 at Goldman Sachs » 16:0203/1303/13/20
Goldman Sachs analyst…
Goldman Sachs analyst Keyur Parekh lowered the firm's price target on Bayer to EUR 76 from EUR 77 and keeps a Buy rating on the shares. The analyst updated the firm's estimates following the company's Q4 results, raising his 2020-2023 group revenue estimates by less than 1% on average. Parekh added that while 2020 guidance is broadly in line with consensus, he expects for the company to remain on settlement of the ongoing glyphosate litigation.
Deutsche Bank names Bayer as 'Catalyst Call' buy idea » 08:0703/1103/11/20
Deutsche Bank analyst…
Deutsche Bank analyst Falko Friedrichs named Bayer a "Catalyst Call' buy idea. The shares have been under immense pressure, in line with the market, due to the coronavirus situation, Friedrichs tells investors in a research note. The analyst, however, sees the risks to its business as manageable and unlikely to be materially damaging in the longer term. Bayer is trading at an eight-times price-to-earnings ratio, which is significantly below historical levels and peers, says Friedrichs.
Bayer's soybean dominance under threat from rival Corteva, Reuters says » 14:2303/0403/04/20
According to Tom Polansek…
According to Tom Polansek and Rod Nickel of Reuters, Bayer's (BAYRY) key rival, American agricultural chemical and seed company Corteva (CTVA), is threatening Bayer's dominance in the "decades-long dominance of the $4B U.S. soybean seed market." Corteva, which formed last year from the agricultural units of Dow Chemical and DuPont, "expects its Enlist E3 seed to make up 20% of the U.S. crop in 2020, the first year it has been widely available," noted Reuters. Reference Link