In case anyone was wondering if U.S. drugmaker Amgen intended to build that €820 million ($1.1 billion) plant in Cork County, Ireland, that it put on hold 7 years ago, well it ain't going to happen. Not now, not ever.
A pair of cross-continent Big Biotechs came up big this week in the revenue department, with hefty sales powering both Biogen Idec and Amgen to double-digit fourth-quarter earnings increases.
Amgen marched through yet another Phase III study for the closely watched PCSK9 cholesterol drug evolocumab (AMG-145), racking up more promising data for one of the biggest late-stage programs in the business.
Amgen's promising PCSK9 candidate cleared another Phase III hurdle, this time in statin-intolerant patients, as the company piles up positive data with hopes of taking the lion's share of what could be a multibillion-dollar market.
Many new drugs these days are made with companion diagnostic tests in mind, and Amgen's treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer is no different. Illumina has inked a deal to develop a test that screens for patients who'd benefit most from the drug.
Illumina will develop a companion diagnostic test for Amgen's Vectibix, a drug designed to treat metastatic colorectal cancer that has U.S. and EU approval.
Two people were injured in an explosion at Amgen's South San Francisco research lab earlier this week, according to several reports. The blast was the second to occur at the facility in the past in 9 months.
California's Atara Biotherapeutics has heaped more cash onto its second funding round, giving the Amgen spinoff $52 million in Series B funds to support its programs in kidney disease and oncology.
The company named Michael Kelly, an 11-year Amgen veteran, to hold the CFO position on an interim basis.
In November, Amgen received a California OSHA citation for an explosion at the biotech last May that injured a hazardous waste disposal employee. Wednesday another explosion was reported at the biotech, this one sending two workers to the hospital.