Amgen aims for growth in bone drugs, overseas markets

Amgen's ($AMGN) incoming CEO has high hopes for this year. Now COO, Robert Bradway says he's looking for revenue growth in 2012, thanks in part to international expansion. Another driver: Sales of recently launched drugs as those products gain hold in the marketplace. And it won't hurt that Amgen has won a new patent on its best-selling drug, Enbrel, which brought in $3.5 billion in 2010.

At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Bradway talked up the prospects for Xgeva, approved to prevent fractures in cancer patients, and Prolia, the osteoporosis treatment. The two brands contain the same active ingredient in different doses. They racked up more than $500 million in 2011 sales during their first full year on the market.

And with the potential for a new indication for preventing or delaying bone metastases in prostate cancer, those sales could grow substantially this year. "The biggest opportunity by far and for us in 2012 is to continue to grow the market," Bradway said (as quoted by Bloomberg). Bradway will take over as CEO from Kevin Sharer (photo) in May.

The company has also managed to ink long-term contracts for its anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen, aiming to stave off sales declines and protect them from copycat challengers. And Amgen aims to grow overseas as well, planning to expand into almost three dozen new markets.

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