Amgen (AMGN)'s Risky Heart Drug Gamble  
11/2/2012 6:24:49 AM

Amgen Inc. (AMGN), the world’s largest biotechnology company, is developing a new anti-cholesterol medicine by 2015 that it sees as its best shot to offset reduced sales when its popular anemia drugs lose exclusivity.

Amgen has traded at a record high by resorting to share buybacks and dividend payments, investor benefits that aren’t normally linked to biotech companies. By 2015, though, the anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen, with a combined $4 billion in estimated sales this year, will face competition from rivals introducing cheaper follow-on versions, necessitating growth from new products.