Press review

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Bayer management under pressure despite solid business results

BERLIN, 26 Apr (APM) - Bayer's management is under pressure despite solid business results that the group presented on Thursday, report Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Friday (p24), Die Welt on Wednesday (p13) and on Friday (p12) and Handelsblatt on Friday (p70).
Several fund managers and shareholder consultants have said they will vote against the management in a key vote at the annual shareholders' meeting on Friday, as they disagree with the Monsanto acquisition (APMHE 62752), even considering the group's sales have risen 4% to €13 billion after the Monsanto integration (APMHE 62774), Die Welt says.
While a vote against the management would not have direct consequences, it would raise "personnel issues" over chairman Werner Baumann.

13,400 glyphosate lawsuits against Bayer

Bayer said in its results call on Thursday that lawsuits from approximately 13,400 plaintiffs have been served on Bayer’s subsidiary Monsanto in the U.S. over glyphosate-based weed killers, Sueddeutsche Zeitung says on Friday (p19). (APMHE 62783)
On Wednesday, Bayer filed an appeal in the first case on glyphosate causing cancer in plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, which Bayer had lost in August 2018.
Bayer's share price has slumped 36% over the past 12 months, triggered when a U.S. jury first awarded $289 million to plaintiff Dewayne Johnson in August 2018, reduced to $78 million in October 2018 (APMHE 60267). At the end of March, Bayer lost a second U.S. jury trial (APMHE 62449).
However, Bayer's management is reluctant to settle with plaintiffs, SZ says.

More cannabis drugs should be approved - BfArM

German drug regulator BfArM would like to see more standardised cannabis drugs on the German market instead of the use of plant parts for medical purposes, which should only be a "temporary arrangement", BfArM's head Karl Broich told Handelsblatt on Tuesday (p21).
Studies on the efficacy and safety of medical cannabis could only be carried out for standardised drugs, Broich said.

Novartis and Amgen in legal dispute over Aimovig

Novartis is suing Amgen over its attempt to end their collaboration on migraine treatment Aimovig (erenumab) (APMHE 62571), FAZ reported on Thursday (p18).
Despite Aimovig's uptake has been successful, Amgen is keen to get out of the collaboration, accusing Novartis of letting its generics division Sandoz work with Alder Biopharmaceuticals on a possible Aimovig rival.

AI predicted Biogen/Eisai's trial failure

German-Indian company Innoplexus has developed artificial intelligence that was able to predict the failure of Biogen/Eisai's Phase III failure of drug candidate aducanumab in Alzheimer’s (APMHE 62348) months before, FAZ reported on Thursday (p32).
Biogen shareholders have lost $18 billion following the trial's discontinuation, FAZ reported.

Merck KGaA forecasts pharma growth

Merck KGaA can expect its pharma business to grow this year with its new multiple sclerosis drug Mavenclad (cladribine) and immune-oncology drug Bavencio (avelumab) showing potential for €500 million in sales (APMHE 62161), Handelsblatt reported on Thursday (p18-21).
Positive trends in Merck's pharma and life sciences divisions could back its $6.5 billion acquisition of U.S.-based Versum Materials (APMHE 62667).
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