Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals launches in the U.S.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals has announced its official U.S. launch. The new company incorporates the former Berlex Inc. into Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, as part of Bayer's acquisition of Schering AG, Germany, Berlex's former parent company.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., headquartered in Wayne, NJ, is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals unit of Bayer HealthCare. Bayer HealthCare's pharmaceutical business is dedicated to developing, manufacturing and marketing products that help improve human health, and globally ranks among the top 10 specialty pharmaceutical companies. The global pharmaceutical business employs more than 40,000 people, with approximately 5,500 employees in the United States.

The company's global Oncology and Specialized Therapeutics business units, as well as certain U.S.-based global drug development groups and other business support functions, will be housed in its Montville, N.J. offices. The establishment of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals is expected to bring an estimated 300 new jobs to New Jersey.

"As the largest single pharmaceutical market in the world, the U.S. offers our organization a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our position in the specialty pharmaceuticals arena," said Reinhard Franzen, president of Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. "New Jersey is one of the most important centers for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and offers access to a highly skilled workforce and close proximity to future business partners."

Bayer's combined pharmaceutical portfolio includes product offerings in, and research groups devoted to, Diagnostic Imaging, Hematology/Cardiology, Oncology, Specialized Therapeutics and Women's Healthcare. Leading products in the United States include:

-- A first-in-class oral oncology treatment for adults with kidney cancer -- The first disease-modifying therapy for use among patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis -- The first I.V. contrast agent for use in magnetic resonance imaging -- A recombinant human factor VIII treatment recommended for people living with hemophilia A -- A unique intrauterine contraceptive system, which is 99.9 percent effective for up to five years -- The first oral contraceptive (OC) to contain the unique progestin drospirenone, introduced in 2001 -- The first and only OC ever approved by the FDA for three distinct indications: as an OC, as well as a treatment for acne and/or the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder in women choosing an OC for contraception.

"Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals combines the strength of two of the most recognized and well respected pharmaceutical companies in the industry, creating an integrated specialty pharmaceuticals business that will drive innovation and growth globally," said Dr. Gunnar Riemann, member of the Board of Management of Bayer HealthCare and member of Bayer HealthCare's Executive Committee. "We are confident that we will continue to drive medical progress as we apply science to create a better life for millions of people around the world."

The combined company has a robust research and development program with a strong product pipeline geared toward developing meaningful new therapeutic options to fulfill unmet medical needs. As a result of these two companies combining forces, research and development activities have been consolidated into three major sites (Berkeley, Calif., Berlin and Wuppertal, Germany). The Berkeley facility is an important R&D center for protein-based biologics and will house the company's global Hematology/Cardiology business.

Research in Diagnostic Imaging, Women's Healthcare and Oncology will be based in Berlin. Wuppertal will house the core of the company's Cardiology research. Both locations have significant capabilities and activities in target discovery, lead generation and optimization, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, toxicology and clinical pharmacology.

Bayer also will continue operations in Washington State to manufacture the company's white blood cell growth factor.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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