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Bayer Prostate Cancer Drug Cuts Death Risk by 30%, Study Shows

An experimental drug developed by Bayer AG (BAYN) and Algeta ASA (ALGETA) prolonged the lives of men with prostate cancer that’s spread to their bones, a study found.

A trial of the drug, called Alpharadin, in 922 men was stopped early after an interim analysis showed that patients receiving it on top of standard treatment had a 30 percent lower risk of dying than those receiving just the current therapy, according to data presented today at a cancer conference in Stockholm.

The results suggest Alpharadin may be the first drug to improve survival in men with cancer of the prostate that’s spread to the bone, a worsening of the disease that occurs in 90 percent of men with the advanced stage. Bayer plans to apply for regulatory approval in Europe and the U.S. by the middle of next year, said Anna Koch, a spokeswoman for the Leverkusen, Germany- based company.

“This is really practice-changing,” Jean-Charles Soria, a professor of medicine at the Institute Gustave Roussy in Paris, said at a briefing with reporters. “Pending approval, it’s going to be a major player in prostate cancer.”

Alpharadin, also known as radium-223 chloride, may generate peak sales of 640 million euros ($864 million) by 2018, according to Alistair Campbell, an analyst at Berenberg Bank in London. The drug works by emitting small doses of alpha radiation that damage the DNA of cancer cells, killing them, without harming healthy cells.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at sbennett9@bloomberg.net

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