November 9, 2007 |
Warning labels on anemia drugs made by Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson have been strengthened to reflect concerns that they boost the risk of heart attacks, stroke and death, regulators said Thursday. Millions of cancer and kidney disease patients take the drugs, known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents. EPO drugs include Amgen's biggest drug, Aranesp, and an older version, Epogen, and J&J's Procrit.
November 8, 2007 |
Early results from an ongoing study showed that people with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis were more likely to reach clinical remission with Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc.'s Enbrel plus methotrexate than with methotrexate alone. Results from the first year of a two-year study of 542 patients showed that 50% of the patients who received Enbrel plus methotrexate were in remission. That compared with 28% of patients receiving methotrexate alone.
October 25, 2007 |
Biotech giant Amgen Inc. -- battered by regulators, stung by falling sales of its top drugs and hit by layoffs this summer -- began Wednesday to spell out the price it has paid. The Thousand Oaks-based firm said its profit decreased 82% compared with a year earlier. The company said it wrote off $850 million in costs to shutter manufacturing plants and reduce its workforce by 2,600 employees.
October 24, 2007 |
In a decisive victory, biotech giant Amgen Inc. won a jury verdict Tuesday involving a patent case that could have allowed a competitor to muscle in on its lucrative anemia drug franchise. The Thousand Oaks-based biotech's shares rose $1.58, or 2.8%, to $57.70 on the news. Swiss drug maker Roche Holding Ltd. had planned to introduce an anemia drug under the brand name Mircera as early as this year. In an uncommon legal strategy, Roche sought to show that Amgen patents were invalid.
October 23, 2007 |
The largest group of U.S. cancer doctors said Monday that Medicare has gone too far in restricting the use of anemia drugs made by Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson and released its own guidelines. The doctors' recommendations add new warnings about heart risks while saying patients can safely use higher doses than Medicare allows.
October 19, 2007 |
Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen's summer doldrums are stretching into the fall. This month Aetna Inc., one of the nation's largest insurers, quietly changed its reimbursement guidelines for the company's anemia drugs, echoing Medicare's new tighter reimbursement policy for the medicines. Aetna is the largest private insurer to do so, and analysts expect others to follow soon.
October 17, 2007 |
Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson were set back in efforts to overturn Medicare limits on use of the firms' anemia drugs when U.S. drug regulators found the restrictions appropriate. Payment rules set by Medicare, the U.S. healthcare program for the elderly and disabled, are "generally consistent" with prescribing information for use of the drugs in cancer patients, the Food and Drug Administration said in a letter released Tuesday by Reps. Pete Stark (D-Fremont) and Henry A.
October 4, 2007 |
Amgen Inc. said Wednesday it canceled plans for a $1-billion manufacturing plant in Ireland and would eliminate all 75 company jobs in the country. The decision is linked to the "evolving business environment," the Thousand Oaks-based company said. Amgen said it would shut down its operations in Ireland while plans for the plant were postponed indefinitely.
September 28, 2007 |
Amgen Inc. said Thursday that European regulators had proposed special warnings and reduced dosing recommendations for the use of anemia drugs, including its top-selling Aranesp. The new prescribing information may say that studies show more deaths associated with increased dosing of anemia medications and that the drugs haven't been shown to improve overall survival in cancer patients with anemia, Thousand Oaks-based Amgen said.
September 26, 2007 |
Amgen Inc. said Tuesday that 675 jobs would be cut at its headquarters in Thousand Oaks, adding to the economic woes of the region. The local layoffs are part of the details the biotech giant released about its previously announced reduction of as many as 2,600 positions. As Ventura County's largest private employer, Amgen has been a major economic factor in the county and western Los Angeles County, where other prominent companies also have cut back.