Bayer initiates asundexian Phase III study program

FILE PHOTO: The historical headquarters of German pharmaceutical and chemical maker Bayer AG is pictured in Leverkusen

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Bayer said on Sunday it was starting a Phase III study program to investigate the efficacy and safety of asundexian, an oral Factor XIa (FXIa) inhibitor.

The drug candidate is a potential new treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation and in patients with a non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack, Bayer said.

Bayer's best-selling stroke prevention pill Xarelto, in which partner Johnson & Johnson holds some rights, will lose patent protection around 2026.

(Writing by Paul Carrel, Editing by Miranda Murray)