Amgen zooms past $20B in sales, sparked by Enbrel, Neupogen and denosumab

After leapfrogging pharma stalwarts like Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) with its 2014 revenue haul, Amgen ($AMGN) is enjoying its new status as one of the industry's top-selling drugmakers. And it's hoping new regulatory filings for multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis can help it keep the sales leaps coming.

The California biotech has submitted approval applications for Kyprolis as second-line treatment for patients with relapsed forms of the blood cancer in both the U.S. and EU, it announced Tuesday. If Amgen snags the label expansion, Kyprolis could become part of a new standard of care--and it could also become a serious threat to competitor Pomalyst from Celgene ($CELG), a drug that's currently outperforming it despite Kyprolis' 8-month first-to-market advantage.

After forking over $10.4 billion for Kyprolis-maker Onyx in 2013, that's the outcome Amgen's hoping for. Kyprolis sales grew 25% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, but the $91 million top-line tally still fell short of Wall Street's $109 million estimate, Reuters notes. And Amgen is looking for more from the cancer drug as it pushes for total 2015 revenues of $20.8 billion to $21.3 billion.

Of course, the company has other hot sellers that it expects will help it get there. Sales of behemoth Enbrel shot up 11% in the quarter to reach $1.34 billion, surpassing analysts' expectations. Neupogen and Neulasta combined to rake in $1.45 billion, too. All told, the company passed the $20 billion revenue mark for the first time, generating $20.1 billion on the year.

But competition for some of those drugs is on its way. Neupogen could see its first biosimilar competition in the U.S. this year from Novartis' ($NVS) Sandoz, and the Swiss drugmaker also recently scored an approval for next-gen psoriasis med Cosentyx--the first in what's expected to be a long line of new-age treatments that'll give Enbrel a run for its money.

That competition is part of what prompted a recent restructuring, which CEO Robert Bradway said is rolling along as planned. The company sees at least $400 million in cost savings this year from the revamp, he told investors on a conference call.

- read Amgen's release
- and see its earnings report
- view the call transcript from Seeking Alpha
- get more from Reuters

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