UPDATE 1-Bayer’s contested cancer drug enters Phase III

* Starts Phase III trial of regorafenib against bowel cancer

* Onyx claims has partial rights to compound

(Adds details, background)

FRANKFURT, May 7 (BestGrowthStock) – Germany’s Bayer (BAYGn.DE: ) has
started testing a contested sister compound to its potential
blockbuster Nexavar in the third and last phase, raising the
stakes in a legal tussle with development partner Onyx (ONXX.O: ).
Germany’s Bayer said on Friday it has started to enroll
patients in a Phase III trial to test the drug, dubbed
regorafenib or BAY 73-4506 by Bayer, to fight advanced bowel
cancer after other treatments have failed.

Regorafenib became a bone of contention between the German
drugmaker and its U.S. biotech partner. Bayer is laying sole
claim to the drug while Onyx contends the compound should be
treated as an offshoot from their joint Nexavar project.

Onyx sued Bayer a year ago over the rights to regorafenib,
which Onyx refers to as fluoro-sorafenib, claiming its molecular
structure differs from Nexavar only in one atom. [ID:nN17389823]

Regorafenib is similar to Bayer’s Nexavar drug,
scientifically known as sorafenib, and both drugs are so-called
multikinase inhibitors that quell cancer cell growth and prevent
new blood vessels that could feed tumours.

Doctors use Nexavar, which is taken as a pill, to treat
liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer and Bayer expects to
generate more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in peak annual
sales from it.

Bayer is testing regorafenib against kidney cancer as well.

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($1=.7453 Euro)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Hans Peters)

UPDATE 1-Bayer’s contested cancer drug enters Phase III