Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Bayer's Cancer Drug Vitraki Rejected by Both England and Germany

By Mark Prvulovic - Jan 17, 2020 at 4:56PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Despite getting approval in the U.S. and Canada, European counterparts weren't impressed by Vitraki.

Healthcare watchdogs in both England and Germany officially rejected Bayer's (BAYR.Y 2.49%) new cancer drug, Vitraki. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a top English health regulator, announced on Friday it can't recommend the drug at its current price tag and said it simply isn't cost-efficient.

Germany's top drug assessment group, IQWiG, also rejected the drug, citing insufficient data. Although Bayer's drug has shown encouraging results so far, IQWiG rejected the drug because clinical trials didn't have a comparison group of people who didn't take Vitraki.

Medical person looking at tumors on multiple computer screens.

Image source: Getty Images.

Vitraki is what's known as a tumor-agnostic or tissue-agnostic therapy, which means that it attempts to treat cancer cells regardless of what type of cancer it is and where it appeared in the body. In Vitraki's case, the drug targets cancer cells that have a specific type of chromosome mutation known as an NTRK gene fusion, present in less than 1% of all patients with solid tumors.

What's Vitrakvi anyway?

While Vitrakvi's targeted demographic is a relatively narrow patient population, the company expected to make as much as $836 million in peak sales from the drug. Due to its niche nature in treating NTRK gene fusion cancer, no comparable standard of care exists that Vitrakvi can be tested against. Its current price tag comes in at $19,600 for a 30-day supply.

Health regulators in North America have been more accepting of the drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vitraki in November 2018, while Health Canada approved Bayer's drug in July 2019.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Bayer Stock Quote
Bayer
BAYR.Y
$16.07 (2.49%) $0.39

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
345%
 
S&P 500 Returns
119%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/16/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.