CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2012 |
George B. Rathmann, a far-sighted entrepreneur whose small team of talented scientists created two blockbuster drugs that helped turn his upstart Thousand Oaks firm, Amgen Inc., into the world's most successful biotech company, died Sundayat his Palo Alto home. He was 84. The cause was complications from pneumonia, according to his son, Richard. Biotechnology was still an embryonic business when Amgen opened in 1980. More than a quarter of a century after James Watson and Francis Crick had discovered DNA, the twisting molecular structure that carries life's genetic blueprint, the elaborate science of isolating key genes in the laboratory continued to elude researchers.
April 18, 2012 |
Swiss drugmaker Roche will not extend its hostile $6.8-billion bid for Illumina Inc. after the San Diego biotech company's shareholders rejected Roche's attempts to appoint new board members. Roche's current offer of $51 per Illumina share will expire on Friday. Severin Schwan, the company's chief executive, said in a statement Wednesday that a higher price is not "in the interest of Roche's shareholders.” Schwan said that Illumina, which makes products used for genetic analysis, had failed to “engage in a constructive dialogue” even after Roche boosted its original January offer of $44.50 per share to $51 per share on March 29. Illumina Chief Executive Jay T. Flatley called the offer “inadequate.” The new price represents an 88% premium over Illumina's closing price on Dec. 21, before rumors of a potential acquisition caused the stock to spike, according to Roche.
March 23, 2012 |
Is your 401(k) plan any good? Given the significant role of 401(k)s in retirement planning, it's important to know how your company's plan stacks up. BrightScope Inc., a 401(k) rating firm in San Diego, issued a list of the 25 best plans in the Los Angeles area. Rankings are based on factors such as fees, company matching contributions, vesting schedules and quality of investment options. Biotech giant Amgen Inc. claimed the top spot. BrightScope's database covers 1,712 plans of companies within 50 miles of Los Angeles.
February 8, 2012
A panel of cancer experts voted against a new use for Amgen Inc.'s Xgeva in prostate cancer on Wednesday, saying the drug's ability to slow the spread of the disease did not translate into meaningful benefits for patients. The Food and Drug Administration's cancer drug panel voted 12 to 1 that the benefits of the drug did not outweigh its risks, which included bone disease in about 6% of patients. The FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, although it often does. Xgeva is already approved to prevent fractures in cancerous bones, and for osteoporosis, in a different formulation called Prolia.
January 27, 2012 |
Biotech giant Amgen, fresh off mixed earnings, said it will shell out $1.16 billion to broaden its product pipeline by buying fellow drug developer Micromet Inc. Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is already one of the world's premier pharmaceutical firms, but it's saddled with mostly older products, such as anemia treatment Epogen and arthritis medication Enbrel. Its portfolio is facing more competition and high expenses as similar products hit the market, analysts said. Amgen's profit in 2011 fell 20.4% year over year - largely because of higher costs - to about $3.7 billion, or $4.07 a share, the company said after the markets closed Thursday.
January 26, 2012 |
Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, agreed to buy Micromet Inc. in a $1.16 billion deal to gain an experimental leukemia drug. Investors of Micromet, based in Rockville, Maryland, will get $11 a share, the companies said in a statement today. The acquisition will give Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen the compound blinatumomab, being tested against two blood cancers, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. While Amgen spends $2.7 billion a year on research and development, the company has "a fairly empty pipeline" and needs to acquire to gain promising new products, said Geoffrey Porges, an analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein in New York.
December 16, 2011 |
Longtime Amgen Inc. Chief Executive Kevin W. Sharer will step down in May and will be replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Bradway, the biotech giant said. The Thousand Oaks company said Bradway also is expected to be named chairman of the board when Sharer, 63, relinquishes that post at the end of 2012. Sharer has been with the company for 20 years, serving as CEO and chairman since 2000. Amgen said annual revenue has reached nearly $16 billion with operations in 55 countries during Sharer's tenure, up from $3.6 billion in revenue and a presence in 17 countries before he assumed the top jobs.
December 8, 2011 |
Amgen Inc., the world's largest biotechnology company, will buy back about 83.3 million shares at $60 each in a modified Dutch auction, amounting to about 9.5 percent of the stock outstanding. About 98 million shares were tendered at or below $60 each, Thousand Oaks-based Amgen said Thursday. The $5 billion auction, announced last month, is part of a $10 billion buyback program. The offer, which enabled investors to specify a price at which they were willing to sell, is part of a push by the drugmaker to return at least 60 percent of net income to investors.
November 18, 2011 |
Amgen Inc., aiming to secure future sales of its flagship anemia drug Epogen as potential competition emerges, has reached new supply contracts with the two largest operators of U.S. kidney dialysis clinics. The Thousand Oaks biotechnology company said in a regulatory filing Friday that it had signed a seven-year contract to provide clinic operator DaVita Inc. with at least 90% of its anemia drug needs. Amgen also entered into a multiyear agreement, starting in January, to supply Epogen on a nonexclusive basis to Fresenius Medical Care, according to Amgen spokeswoman Christine Regan.