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The HealthCare segment at Bayer (BAYRY - Free Report) announced encouraging results from the X-VeRT study on Xarelto. The study evaluated Xarelto in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation who undergo cardioversion.

Results from the study revealed that Xarelto was an effective and well-tolerated alternative to dose-adjusted vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) such as warfarin in patients suffering from non-valvular atrial fibrillation undergoing cardioversion. Patients on Xarelto revealed a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events as compared to VKAs.

Results further revealed the utility and practical advantages of Xarelto (shorter time to cardioversion) in comparison to the use of VKAs. The data was presented at the ESC Congress 2014 and also published in the European Heart Journal.

Xarelto is being jointly developed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) . The drug is marketed by Johnson & Johnson in the U.S. and by Bayer outside the U.S. Xarelto is approved for several indications including stroke prevention in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and reduction of the risk of recurrent DVT and PE.

Last week, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson announced that they will be evaluating Xarelto in three new indications in new studies. The companies will evaluate their anticoagulant for the treatment of patients who have suffered an embolic stroke of undetermined source, patients suffering from peripheral artery disease undergoing peripheral artery interventions and patients who have had an acute coronary syndrome (read more: Bayer/Johnson & Johnson to Expand Xarelto Label Further).

We are encouraged by Bayer’s progress with Xarelto. Xarelto has been putting in an impressive performance since its launch. The drug, an important one at Bayer’s newly approved drugs portfolio, contributed €381 million in the second quarter of 2014. Further label expansion of the drug will boost sales. We expect investor focus to remain on the performance of the newly launched products at Bayer going forward.

Bayer carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Allergan (AGN - Free Report) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Free Report) . Both stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).





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