Bayer plans significant job cuts as it restructures

Bayer recently announced that it is embarking on a comprehensive restructuring plan with significant staff reductions.

The Germany-based pharma giant’s management aims to enhance operational performance through a new model called “Dynamic Shared Ownership” (DSO). This strategic change aims to reduce hierarchies, eliminate bureaucracy, streamline structures, and accelerate decision-making processes​.

The new model, however, will come at the expense of the jobs of many managerial employees. The layoffs will take place in a decentralized manner through 2025, which means that Bayer cannot initially quantify the size. Bayer has committed to no compulsory redundancies until the end of 2026.

As of the end of 2022, Bayer had more than 101,000 employees, with about a fifth in Germany.

Bayer’s CEO Bill Anderson, who took the helm in June 2023, has emphasized a focus on internal reorganization. This approach delays any break-up plans …

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Hologic, Bayer partner on improved mammography imaging

Hologic (Nasdaq: HOLX) + and Bayer today announced an international partnership focused on improving breast cancer detection.

The companies teamed up to deliver contrast-enhanced mammography (CEM) solutions across Europe, Canada and Asia Pacific. CEM, a highly sensitive, relatively low-cost breast imaging modality combines digital mammography with contrast agent administration. It supports breast cancer diagnosis and guides treatment decisions.

Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Hologic said the partnership brings together its mammography gantries with Bayer’s CEM-approved injection systems. It enables the administration of contrast media during a mammography examination, according to a news release. The agreement allows the companies to support radiologists with a comprehensive product package and hands-on training.

“Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increased interest in contrast-enhanced mammogra…

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New Bayer CEO Bill Anderson’s move to cut management mirrors his Roche playbook

Bill Anderson, who assumed leadership of Bayer in June, is eyeing cuts to the company’s mid- and upper-management. In addition to the cost-savings, Anderson expects the cuts to streamline decision-making. The moves are part of Anderson’s first step in bolder initiative to revamp Bayer’s operational dynamics in the face of investor pressures.

It is relatively rare for an American to lead a major German company. One notable precedent was Bill McDermott at SAP, who made history of the first American CEO of the software company in 2014. At the helm of the software giant, McDermott touted cloud-based evolution, helped introduce the in-memory database platform SAP HANA, prioritized a customer-centric approach, and championed sustainability initiatives.

Anderson, much like McDermott, appears to have bold moves in mind at Bayer. In addition to the cost-savings, he expects these cuts to streamline decision-making. This approach reflects Anderson’s ambi…

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These devices are the top targets of lawsuit-related advertisements

Surgical mesh products continue to drive medical device lawsuit spending. [Photo via Adobe Stock]

Spending on advertisements related to medical device lawsuits this year is on track to exceed last year’s tally.

That’s according to figures provided by Washington, D.C.-based X Ante, which uses data from ad intelligence firm Vivvix. X Ante supplies reports on medical device lawsuit ad spending to the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), which is calling for new federal regulations of mass tort advertising to protect device manufacturers from lawsuits bankrolled by third-party funders.

For the first half of 2023, $6.2 million worth of legal ads targeted five kinds of medical devices:

Pelvic mesh: $3.5 million Hernia mesh: $1.9 million CPAP machines: $532,000 Physiomesh: $262,000 Military earplugs: $54,000

Spending on the top five device categories totaled just under $11 mil…

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AdvaMed takes aim at device lawsuits funded by third parties

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) is asking for new regulations to protect device manufacturers from lawsuits bankrolled by third-party funders.

Ahead of a U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on the topic tomorrow, AdvaMed General Counsel and Chief Policy Officer Chris White submitted a letter in which he said “most mass tort litigation against medical device manufacturers is fueled by banks, private equity firms and hedge funds.”

AdvaMed wants new federal regulations of mass tort advertising like laws passed in Tennessee and Texas.

“The influx of billions of dollars of third-party litigation funding has fundamentally changed the dynamics of mass tort litigation,” White wrote. “These financiers are injecting huge amounts of investment capital into creating litigation regardless of the merits,” White wrote in the letter. “They start by funding mass marketing campaigns on TV, radio,…

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Radiology reimagined: Bayer and Google see AI as a win for practitioners and patients

AI is set to continue making inroads in radiology in the coming years, according to two executives from Bayer and Google.

In an interview at Google Cloud Next, Bayer’s Guido Mathews and Google Cloud’s Shweta Maniar highlighted the transformative influence of the technology on the radiologist’s workflow, the increasing integration of AI into radiological education, and its potential to mitigate burnout and reduce error rates.

Bayer offers contrast agents and injectors for major radiology modalities, including CT, MRI, an angiography.

In addition to focusing on radiology, Bayer Pharmaceuticals is using generative AI models like Google Cloud’s Vertex AI and Med-PaLM 2 to streamline drug development. Bayer is also using Google’s high-performance computing resources for quantum chemistry calculations.

AI’s radiological reboot

In 2016, deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton predicted that AI systems would outperform radiologists by 2021…

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Decoding Bayer’s digital health leap and its implications on drug discovery and personalized medicine

The German multinational pharma and biotech colossus Bayer is taking further steps to ramp up its focus on digital health by launching a new business unit. In 2022, Bayer invested $9.5 million in Woebot Health, an AI-powered behavioral health platform company. In 2020, it launched a venture known as G4A Digital Health Partnership Program to drive digital collaboration in cardiometabolic and renal disease, oncology and women’s health.

This new unit, the Bayer Precision Health group, plans to focus on identifying digital and digital-supported consumer healthcare opportunities. The group seeks to create new precision health products based on real-world evidence and digital technologies.

Bayer’s new digital health unit has a priority mission. It seeks to cultivate pioneering digital technologies. The goal? Empower individuals to make more informed health choices. It aims to accomplish that objective by uncovering novel delivery mechanisms, as our sister…

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Bayer is making a digital health play

Bayer announced that it has launched a business unit that will focus on precision digital health products across a range of everyday health categories.

Bayer will prioritize developing digital solutions that enable people to make more informed health choices based on personal insights and novel delivery mechanisms, the company said in a news release posted yesterday.

A company spokesperson wasn’t able to disclose the size of the investment to MassDevice — but added that Bayer is investing in pipeline project development, IT infrastructure, strategic partnerships and personnel to rapidly scale up new innovations across the company’s categories.

The move could be a big deal considering Bayer’s size. The German pharma and biotech giant had sales of €50.7 billion (roughly $53 billion) in 2022. Its pharmaceuticals division is the 16th largest pharma business in the world, according to our sister site Drug Discovery & Development‘s …

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The 50 best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2022: COVID-19 vaccines poised to take a step back

[sizsus/Adobe Stock]

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the best-selling pharmaceuticals, leading to shifts in the list with Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty surpassing AbbVie’s Humira for the No. 1 spot in 2021. That momentum continued in 2022, with Pfizer and BioNTech jointly raking in $59.1 billion in revenue from the sales of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although Comirnaty maintained its position as the best-selling pharmaceutical of 2022, it experienced a roughly 5% drop in sales compared to the previous year.

As the best-selling pharmaceuticals of 2022 demonstrate, signs are emerging that the reign of COVID-19 vaccines and  other therapies appears to be slipping.. The two companies — and Moderna — plan on hiking prices to address the weakening demand.

Humira: The second best-selling pharmaceutical of 2022 looking strong

Meanwhile, the heavyweight tumor necrosis factor (TNF) block…

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100 top cell and gene therapy companies to watch in 2023

[Image courtesy of ipopba/Adobe Stock]

The cell and gene therapy sector is poised to deliver a wave of new therapies that could potentially cure rare and common diseases. As many as 13 new cell or gene therapies could be approved for use in the U.S., Europe, or both by the end of 2023.

While manufacturing and regulatory challenges remain, the cell and gene therapy industry continues to offer significant therapeutic potential and commercial opportunities.

This year, we have beefed up our list of leading cell and gene therapy companies, doubling the number of organizations from 50 to 100.

In selecting the companies for this list, we weighed public companies’ degree of involvement in cell and gene therapy, including drug developers, equipment vendors and CDMOs specializing in the area. For private companies, we factored in their funding levels, pipeline and degree of history for the list.


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Bayer makes radiology play with Blackford Analysis acquisition

Bayer announced today that it acquired AI imaging provider Blackford Analysis as it looks to drive innovation in radiology.

The company said in a news release that its strategy includes developing and adopting AI within the clinical workflow. It aims to improve patient care and advance its position in digital medical imaging.

Blackford has a presence in both the U.S. and United Kingdom. It develops a clinical application ecosystem focused on imaging and analytics.

“Adding Blackford and its AI technology to our radiology portfolio secures Bayer an excellent position in the fastest growing segment within the overall global radiology industry,” said Stefan Oelrich, member of the board of management, Bayer AG and President of Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Division. “This acquisition complements our comprehensive radiology portfolio and nourishes our engagement to drive innovation in digital health. We are pleased to join forces with Blackford and their exceptional …

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FDA grants priority review of aflibercept in retinopathy of prematurity 

[Image courtesy of Regeneron/Bayer]

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:REGN) has announced that the FDA has granted Priority Review of the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Eylea (aflibercept) Injection to treat retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants.

First approved in 2011 to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, aflibercept is a blockbuster drug. Last year, it generated $9.2 billion for Regeneron and aflibercept co-developer Bayer. The drug is also indicated for diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion. 

The Tarrytown, New York–based company has conducted two randomized Phase 3 studies testing aflibercept against laser in infants with retinopathy of prematurity. Both the FIREFLEYE and BUTTERFLEYE studies tested a 0.4 mg dose of aflibercept. Both studies found that roughly 80% of aflibercept recipients had an abs…

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