Amgen Drug Cuts Bad Cholesterol Up to 66 Pct in Patients - Trial

Published: Nov 07, 2012

Amgen Inc. (AMGN), the world’s largest biotechnology company, said its experimental heart drug lowered cholesterol levels in patients unable to take standard medicines such as Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor because of side effects. The drug, AMG-145, which targets cholesterol-regulating gene PCSK9 in the liver, reduced LDL, or bad cholesterol, 51 percent in patients intolerant to medicines like Lipitor, called statins, after 12 weeks, and 63 percent among those taking it in combination with Merck & Co.’s (MRK) cholesterol treatment Zetia, according to a study presented today at the American Heart Association meeting in Los Angeles. Amgen is focusing on the drug’s potential to help offset declining sales of its anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen, which together will generate $4 billion in estimated sales this year and face increased competition by 2015. The Thousand Oaks, California-based company is competing with some of the world’s biggest drugmakers, such as Pfizer, Roche Holding AG (ROG) and Sanofi (SAN), to be first to market with the new cholesterol medicine.

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