Bayer’s (BAYRY) Chronic Cough Candidate Meets Efficacy Goal


Bayer AG (BAYRY Quick QuoteBAYRY ) announced encouraging data from the phase IIb study — PAGANINI — which is evaluating its investigational, orally-administered pipeline candidate, eliapixant, for treating patients with refractory chronic cough (“RCC”). Currently, there is no approved treatment for the given indication.

The placebo-controlled, dose-finding study is investigating the safety, efficacy and tolerability of eliapixant as compared to placebo in patients with RCC

Data from the study showed that treatment with eliapixant (75 mg twice daily) led to a statistically significant reduction in the 24-hour cough count as compared to placebo following 12 weeks of treatment — the primary efficacy outcome. In the study, eliapixant also demonstrated a favorable safety and tolerability profile, as well as a positive benefit-risk profile.

Data from this study was presented at the virtual European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Shares of Bayer have declined 4.9% so far this year against the industry’s growth of 15.5%.

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Per the company, RCC is estimated to affect about 1-5% of the world population. Hence, if successfully developed and upon potential approval, eliapixant might be able to serve an area of high unmet medical need and offer a safe and effective long-term use for patients with RCC.

We remind investors that eliapixant, a potent and selective P2X3 receptor antagonist, was derived from Bayer’s former strategic alliance with German drug discovery company, Evotec SE. Apart from RCC, eliapixant is being evaluated in mid-stage studies for the treatment of endometriosis, overactive bladder and neuropathic pain.

Bayer is tapping external sources in order to build its long-term portfolio. The company has made several acquisitions and inked several licensing deals in the past few years, and also targets more such deals in the future.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Bayer currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Top-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN Quick QuoteREGN ) , Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX Quick QuoteVRTX ) and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IRWD Quick QuoteIRWD ) , all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Regeneron’s earnings estimates have been revised 9.4% upward for 2021 and 6.8% upward for 2022 over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 40.7% year to date.

Vertex’searnings estimates have been revised 10.4% upward for 2021 and 7.2% upward for 2022 over the past 60 days.

Ironwood’s earnings estimates have been revised 18% upward for 2021 and 45.7% upward for 2022 over the past 60 days. The stock has increased12% year to date.

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