JPM 2022: Amgen dials up biosimilar ambitions, with at least $4B in expected sales by 2030

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Altogether, Amgen's quintet of biosimilars reaped sales of about $2 billion for the first nine months of 2021. (Amgen Inc)

Amgen was abuzz about biosimilars at this year’s virtual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference—and not without good cause. The franchise, which CEO Robert Bradway touted as an industry leader, already has five launches to its name, billions of dollars in collective sales and a major opportunity in store for 2023.

Altogether, Amgen's quintet of copycat meds reaped sales of about $2 billion for the first nine months of 2021. With more launches and geographic expansions on the horizon, Amgen expects to more than double its biosimilar revenue by 2030, Bradway said. 

Near term, meanwhile, Amgen is gearing up for a major biosimilar debut in Amjevita, which references AbbVie's immunology powerhouse Humira. That copycat is poised to launch in the U.S. on Jan. 31, 2023. After that, Amgen expects to be among the vanguard of biosimilar launches to Stelara, Eylea and Soliris, Bradway said. 

That isn't to say Amgen's homegrown medicines haven't been pulling their weight. The company is banking on sales momentum from three key approvals in 2021 for severe asthma med Tezspire, oral plaque psoriasis therapy Otezla and lung cancer drug Lumakras.

As for Tezspire's market potential, there are about 2.5 million severe asthma patients whose disease is uncontrolled or who are eligible for treatment with a biologic, Bradway said. Roughly 1 million of those patients are based in the U.S., he added. 

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Otezla's patient pool is widening, too. A recent expansion of that drug's label to cover adult plaque psoriasis patients regardless of their disease severity has opened the door to another 1.5 million patients, Bradway said. 

Lumakras, for its part, has now been approved in 35 countries, with more reviews in other regions underway. 

Elsewhere, Amgen's established drugs have continued to pick up market share. Heart disease med Repatha grew in volume by 42% over the first nine months of 2021, Bradway said. Osteoporosis meds Prolia and Evenity experienced 15% and 43% volume growth over that same period, respectively. Otezla enjoyed a 7% volume growth, and Amgen's hematology and oncology volume swelled 9% thanks to Kyprolis, Vectibix, Blincyto, Nplate and Xgeva. 

On the business development front, "external innovation has and will remain an important part of our strategy," Bradway said. As if to prove his point, Amgen this morning said it was putting up $75 million to partner with Arrakis Therapeutics on targeted RNA degraders for difficult-to-target drugs.