OCEANIC-AF study stopped early due to lack of efficacy

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Berlin, November 19, 2023 – OCEANIC-AF, a phase III study investigating asundexian compared to apixaban (a direct oral anticoagulant) in patients with atrial fibrillation at risk for stroke is being stopped early. This decision is based on the recommendation of the study’s Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) as part of ongoing surveillance which showed an inferior efficacy of asundexian versus the control arm. Bayer will further analyze the data to understand the outcome and publish the data.

Available safety data are consistent with previously reported safety profiles of asundexian. The IDMC recommends continuing the OCEANIC-STROKE phase III study as planned.

Appropriate measures will be taken to close the OCEANIC-AF study and patients will be contacted by their treating physicians/investigators to discuss next steps.

“Although the results from this analysis do not support the continuation of the OCEANIC-AF study, we will continue investigating asundexian in the OCEANIC-STROKE study and are currently reevaluating other indications in patients in need of antithrombotic treatment,” said Dr. Christian Rommel, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceutical Division and Global Head of Research and Development.

Other evidence suggests the benefit of anticoagulation therapy on top of standard of care in the population of the OCEANIC-STROKE study which lacks adequate treatment options.

Asundexian is an investigational agent and has not been approved by any health authority for use in any country, for any indication.

About the OCEANIC Program
The OCEANIC clinical trial program is designed to evaluate the use of asundexian, as an oral FXIa inhibitor, in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at risk of stroke and in patients following acute non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack (TIA), aiming to improve the benefit-risk profile when compared to standard of care. The program consists of three large multinational studies, OCEANIC-AF, OCEANIC-STROKE and OCEANIC-AFINA. Patient recruitment for OCEANIC-AFINA has not yet started.

About OCEANIC-AF, OCEANIC-STROKE and OCEANIC-AFINA
OCEANIC-AF is a multicenter, international, randomized, active comparator-controlled, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group, 2-arm Phase III study investigating asundexian compared to apixaban (a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant) in patients with atrial fibrillation at risk for stroke to determine the safety and efficacy of asundexian on prevention of stroke and systemic embolism.

OCEANIC-STROKE is a multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel group and event-driven Phase III study investigating the efficacy and safety of asundexian for prevention of ischemic stroke compared to placebo on top of standard-of-care antiplatelet therapy in patients after an acute non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack (TIA) / mini-stroke.

OCEANIC-AFINA is a multicenter, international, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group, 2-arm Phase III study comparing the use of asundexian with placebo in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) (≥65 years of age) at high risk for stroke or systemic embolism who are deemed ineligible for OAC treatment. OCEANIC-AFINA is not yet recruiting patients; Bayer will now reevaluate the study design in light of the OCEANIC-AF decision.

About FXIa inhibitors and Asundexian
Factor XI is a protein in the blood which is converted into its active enzyme form (Factor XIa) as part of the blood coagulation cascade. FXIa inhibition specifically targets the FXIa protein involved in pathological thrombus formation, while leaving hemostasis intact. Asundexian, as an oral direct, potent inhibitor of activated coagulation factor XI (FXIa), acts selectively on the coagulation cascade, thereby offering the potential to prevent events like stroke without a corresponding increase in bleeding risk associated with the current standard of care (SoC). Asundexian is currently being evaluated as a potential treatment option in thrombosis prevention and could represent a new approach in antithrombotic treatment. Asundexian is a once-daily, oral investigational agent and has not been approved by any health authority for use in any country, for any indication.

About Atrial Fibrillation
AF is one of the most common sustained cardiac rhythm disorders (arrhythmias). It results from rapid, disorganized electrical signals in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart, causing them to quiver and contract quickly and irregularly. As a result, the atria do not empty completely, and blood does not flow properly, causing blood clots to form. These blood clots can break loose and travel to the brain, resulting in a stroke.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

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Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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