Amgen ‘encouraged’ by weight-loss drug interim data, shares jump – ET HealthWorld | Pharma

By Dinah Beasley

London: amgen Said on Thursday that it is very encouraged after completing the interim analysis of its mid-stage study experimental weight loss medicine maritime and will no longer develop its oral obesity candidate AMG786.

Amgen shares rose 13 percent in after-hours trading.

Investors are focused on Amgen’s pipeline of experimental weight loss drugs, and the company said it expects to have data from the Phase 2 Maritide trial later this year. Amgen also said it is planning “a comprehensive Phase 3 program for multiple indications,” including diabetes.

Meritide, given by injection, combines a compound designed to activate GLP-1 hormone The feeling of fullness is linked to an antibody that blocks the activity of a different gut hormone, GIP, which is linked to fat storage and metabolic regulation.

“After the interim analysis, I would say we are confident in Marinetide’s differentiated profile and believe it will address the key issues. unmet medical needs” Jay Bradner, Amgen’s chief scientific officer, said on a conference call.

If ultimately approved, Maritide will compete Novo Nordisk’S wegovy and Eli Lilly’s zepboundThose have been unable to keep up with the exploding demand in the market, which some analysts believe will exceed $100 billion by the end of the decade.

“The notion of even modest market share in this massive market may make investors more and more comfortable,” Evercore ISI analyst Omar Rafat said in a research note, “though Lilly and Novo will still dominate the sector.”

Bradner said that “given the profile we have seen with AMG786, we will not pursue further development.”

The company did not disclose the design of AMG786, only saying that it is an oral compound that does not target hormones like GLP-1 or GIP.

Amgen on Thursday reported a slightly lower first-quarter profit, partially offset by double-digit revenue growth, citing higher operating and interest expenses from its recent acquisition of rare disease drugmaker Horizon Therapeutics.

The biotechnology company’s adjusted profit fell 1 percent to $3.96 a share, still above the average analyst estimate of $3.88 a share, according to LSEG data.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $7.45 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates of $7.44 billion.

In quarterly product sales, sales of osteoporosis drug Prolia increased 8 percent to $999 million, and sales of cholesterol drug Repatha increased 33 percent to $517 million. Sales of rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel fell 2 percent to $567 million.

Sales of eye drug Tapeza, which Amgen acquired through the Horizon purchase, rose nearly 5 percent to $424 million.

Excluding Horizon’s drugs, Amgen said product sales increased 6 percent year over year.

For full-year 2024, the company raised the low end of its revenue outlook to a range of $32.5 billion to $33.8 billion from a previous view of $32.4 billion to $33.8 billion.

Amgen has lowered its 2024 adjusted earnings forecast and now expects profit of $19.00 to $20.20 per share, up from the previous view of $18.90 to $20.30.

Analysts forecast earnings of $19.50 per share in 2024 on revenue of $33 billion.

Amgen expects to hear by mid-June whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will grant accelerated approval to its targeted immunotherapy tarlatamab to treat adults with advanced small cell lung cancer that has worsened despite chemotherapy.

(Reporting by Deanna Beasley, editing by Bill Berkrot and David Gregorio)

  • Published on May 3, 2024 at 06:24 PM IST

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