Amgen Hit By Enbrel 'Peculiarities' And Repatha Resistance
Amgen reported a surprising double-digit decline for Enbrel during the first quarter and sales for the cholesterol-lowering biologic Repatha showed that the PCSK9 inhibitor is not going to make up for the company's declining revenue any time soon – at least not while payers continue to block its use.
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Investors await news from Lilly on whether it will use repatriated cash for M&A; from Biogen on its Spinraza and gene therapy strategies in light of Novartis' AveXis deal; and from Amgen on pipeline programs and acquisitions as major products face new competition. Immuno-oncology combination updates are anticipated from Roche, plus guidance on how GSK will cope with Advair generics, HIV competition from Gilead and the cost of new drug launches is expected.
Amgen reported reduced revenue for 2017 and its 2018 guidance anticipates either flat sales or further decline, so the company is under increasing pressure to spend its $41.7bn in cash in ways that boost earnings, but $14.4bn already is committed to buying stock back from shareholders.
Amgen ended its own development of the CETP inhibitor AMG 899, but will see if anyone else wants to license the drug. Meanwhile, the company is focusing on new drugs and assets in development to offset declining sales for Enbrel and other blockbusters.