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Bayer’s Stock Drops 20% As Drug Trial Halted

Shares of Bayer AG (BAYZF) are down 20% after the German pharmaceutical giant announced that it has ended a late-stage trial of its blood thinner medication called “Asundexian.”

In a written statement, Bayer said it stopped the trial of the anti-thrombotic drug due to a lack of efficacy and data that did not support the medication’s intended benefits.

The blood thinner was expected to be a blockbuster medication for Bayer and news of the trial’s end is pressuring the stock.

The canceled drug trial also comes days after Bayer’s Monsanto business unit was ordered by a U.S. court to pay $1.56 billion U.S. to three people who allegedly developed cancer after using the company’s Roundup herbicide.

In a statement, Bayer said that partway into a Phase III clinical trial, its Asundexian blood thinner was found to be inferior in preventing strokes in high-risk patients.

Bayer had previously forecast €5 billion (Cdn$7.5 billion) in annual sales of the blood thinner.

The company also hoped that Asundexian would help to replace revenue from existing blood thinner Xarelto, one of Bayer’s biggest selling drugs, which loses patent protection in 2026.

Bayer shares fell to their lowest level in 12 years on news of the clinical trial being canceled. So far this year, Bayer’s stock has declined 32% to trade at €33.89 (Cdn$50.81) per share.