Research for Medical Progress
for the Benefit of the Patient

Bayer is the only global company simultaneously researching improvements in human, animal and plant health. Systematic and intensive collaboration among researchers beyond their original specialization is providing new impetus. From world-renowned pharmaceutical products to high-tech platforms, from innovative diagnostics technologies to veterinary medicines – Bayer lives an innovation culture across national borders and areas of research.

How Drugs are Developed

From Molecules to Medicine

Research Areas at Bayer


Research Area Pharmaceuticals - Development of Drugs and Medications

Dr. Jürgen Klar and Dr. Michael Böttger (left to right) from Bayer in Wuppertal evaluate images showing the condition of the blood vessels at the back of the eye.

Drug discovery in the Pharmaceuticals segment focuses on the areas of cardiology, oncology, ophthalmology, hematology, radiology and gynecology.

Examples of New Active Ingredients from Pharmaceuticals Research:


Adempas™ (active ingredient: riociguat) is the first member of a new class of vasodilation agents known as soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) modulators. Administered in tablet form, riociguat is currently being investigated as an innovative, specific approach for the treatment of various forms of pulmonary hypertension.

Adempas™ is approved in the United States and Europe for the treatment of particular forms of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In Japan, Bayer was granted marketing authorization for CTEPH in 2014 and for PAH in February 2015.

The trial program for riociguat also includes studies outside of the pulmonary hypertension indication. For example, riociguat is also in Phase II testing for the treatment of patients with diffuse systemic sclerosis.


Stivarga™ (active ingredient: regorafenib) is an oral multikinase inhibitor. It inhibits various signal pathways that are responsible for tumor growth. Stivarga™ is approved in the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

In March 2015, we suspended enrollment in a Phase III trial with regorafenib due to insufficient patient recruitment at that time. The trial is investigating regorafenib as an adjuvant treatment option for patients with colorectal cancer following resection of liver metastases with curative intent. The results of a further Phase III trial with regorafenib as a second-line treatment for liver cancer are expected in 2016.

Stivarga™ was developed by Bayer. In 2011, Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Amgen Inc., United States, agreed that Onyx would receive royalties on global sales of Stivarga™ in the area of cancer treatment.


Xofigo™ (active ingredient: radium-223 dichloride) is approved in the E.U. and the United States for the treatment of adult patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) with symptomatic bone metastases but no known visceral metastases. In April 2015, we submitted an application to the Japanese health authority MHLW for marketing authorization for radium-223 dichloride for the treatment of prostate carcinoma with bone metastases. The active ingredient is being investigated in additional trials in prostate cancer and in Phase II trials involving breast cancer patients.


Eylea™ (active ingredient: aflibercept) is our joint development project with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., United States. Aflibercept blocks the natural growth factor VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), thus preventing the abnormal formation of new blood vessels that tend to leak fluid. The medication is administered directly into the eye. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., United States, holds exclusive rights to the product in the United States, while in other countries it is marketed by Bayer.

Eylea™ is approved for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), visual impairment due to macular edema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and diabetic macular edema (DME). In Japan, Eylea™ is additionally approved for the treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV).

In February 2015, the European Commission extended marketing authorization for Eylea™ to include the treatment of patients with visual impairment due to macular edema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). Eylea™ therefore can be used in Europe by all patients with visual impairment due to macular edema resulting from retinal vein occlusion (RVO). In June 2015, the product was approved in this indication in Japan. In October 2015, Eylea™ was approved by the European Commission for the treatment of myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV).

A Phase IIa clinical study with regorafenib eye drops did not show the desired results and the project is therefore being discontinued. The study investigated the use of regorafenib for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).


Xarelto™ (active ingredient: rivaroxaban) has been approved for more indications in the area of venous and arterial thromboembolism than any of the other non-vitamin-K-dependent oral anticoagulants. Xarelto™ is approved in more than 130 countries worldwide across all indications, its approval status varying from country to country. Xarelto™ is marketed in the United States by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

In May 2015, Xarelto™ was approved by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The approval also includes the use of Xarelto™ to reduce the risk of recurrent DVT and pulmonary embolism following acute DVT. In September 2015, Xarelto™ was approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) for the treatment and secondary prevention of pulmonary thromboembolism and deep vein thrombosis.

In addition to the already approved indications, the use of rivaroxaban is also being investigated in other cardiovascular diseases such as prevention of major adverse cardiac events, embolic stroke of undetermined source or peripheral artery disease.

Rivaroxaban was invented by Bayer and is being jointly developed with Janssen Research & Development, LLC, United States, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.


The aim of our research and development activities in the area of contrast agents and medical equipment (Radiology business unit) is to steadily improve our contrast agents and our contrast injection systems in order to build on our leadership position in the field of radiology.

In March 2015, we received approval in Japan for Gadovist™ (active ingredient: gadobutrol) injection for use with resonance imaging (MRI). Gadovist™ is the first high concentration / high relaxivity gadolinium-based contrast agent to be made available in Japan. In July 2015, Gadovist™ was approved by the European Commission for use in children under two years of age. This label extension applies to all indications that have already been approved.

In August 2015, the MRXperion injection system was approved by the FDA for the injection of contrast agents. Our system optimizes injection workflow, provides enhanced point-of-care capabilities and can be connected to our Radimetrics™ Enterprise platform.

In 2015, we also worked to expand the capabilities of our informatics product offerings by developing new software applications to improve contrast agent and radiation dosage management across CT, MRI and nuclear medicine modalities.

Consumer Health

Research Area Consumer Health - Research and Development of non-prescription medicines and supplement products

Andreas Werner (left) and Francesco Lo Grande clean and monitor the stirring rods of an ointment mixer for the production of Bepanthen™ wound and healing ointment.

In our Consumer Health Division, research and development activities focus on the development of nonprescription (over-the-counter = OTC) medications as well as skin and foot care products, sunscreens, dietary supplements and other self-medication products. Placing the consumer at the center of everything we do, our development strategies are geared toward expanding and improving our brand portfolio. We want to achieve this through new product developments, forms, formulations, claims, pack designs and other innovations. We introduced a number of new product line extensions to various markets in 2015. They included new delivery forms and uses and innovations for existing brands such as Aspirin™, Elevit™, Berocca™, Canesten™, Bepanthen™ / Bepanthol™ and Coppertone™. We also actively pursue the reclassification of current prescription medicines as OTC products.

Animal Health

Research Area Animal Health - Research and Development of drugs for Animals and Pets.

Lab assistant Carolin Geier examinating round worms in a lab in Monheim.

In our Animal Health business unit, we focus our research and development activities on antiparasitics, antibiotics, medicines to treat noninfectious disorders and nonantibiotic alternatives for infectious diseases. Our central research activities are conducted as part of our Life Sciences platform in conjunction with pharmaceutical research and in close collaboration with our researchers at CropScience. We also reinforce the business by continually identifying further product development candidates through our existing collaborations.

Since August 2015, our innovative immunostimulant Zelnate™ has been available in the United States. It was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to aid in the treatment of bovine respiratory disease caused by Mannheimia haemolytica bacteria. The product offers veterinarians and farmers a new approach alongside vaccines and antibiotics for mitigating this complex infectious disease that has substantial negative impact on the cattle industry.

Bayer Research Stories Can Be Found in Our research Scientific Magazine:

Last updated: December 16, 2016 Copyright © Bayer AG