Bayer faces law suits in United States over Xarelto: paper

The logo of Germany's largest drugmaker Bayer is pictured in Leverkusen April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Bayer AG BAYGn.DE faces its first law suits in the United States over anti-clotting drug Xarelto, one of its top five medicines, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday, citing company sources.

There are fewer than ten suits so far, the paper cited one company insider as saying. It gave no details of the suits.

A Bayer spokesman declined to comment on the newspaper’s report but said the drug’s safety profile since its launch is consistent with the results of clinical studies that involved more than 75,000 patients.

Xarelto had sales of 949 million euros ($1.3 billion) last year and Bayer Chief Executive Marijn Dekkers has said he expected sales could reach around 3.5 billion euros annually.

Bayer peer Boehringer Ingelheim last month said it would pay about $650 million to settle U.S. lawsuits that claimed the company’s blockbuster blood thinner, Pradaxa, had caused severe and fatal bleeding in patients. [ID:nL3N0OE3RI]

Boehringer said it expected to resolve about 4,000 claims with the settlement. The claimants had accused the company of not issuing sufficient warnings of the risks associated with Pradaxa.

Reporting by Frank Siebelt and Jonathan Gould, editing by William Hardy