12. Amgen ($AMGN)

2014 revenue: $20.063 billion
2013 revenue: $18.676 billion

Amgen CEO Robert Bradway

Riding the success of several drugs in its portfolio, Amgen for the first time in 2014 passed the $20 billion revenue mark, landing it in the 12th spot of the year's largest drugmakers.

The Thousand Oaks, CA, Big Biotech saw total pharma sales of $20.1 billion on the year, a 7% increase from 2013's total of $18.7 billion.

"2014 was an outstanding year for Amgen," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer. "Following tremendous progress in our pipeline, we look forward to embarking on a new product cycle with the launch of important new medicines throughout 2015."

Total product sales increased 6%, driven by strong performance across the portfolio, the company said in a release. Neulasta sales grew 5 percent to $4.6 billion, Enbrel sales grew 3 percent to $4.7 billion, and several other drugs--XGEVA, Prolia, Vectibix and Nplate--saw double digit growth. Kyprolis tallied $331 million in sales for the first full year of its commercialization since Amgen's purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

On the year, earnings per share also grew 14% to $8.70.

Criticized by some on its high R&D costs, the California drugmaker will look to several regulatory filings in 2015 to keep its momentum. It announced in January that it submitted applications for multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis as a second-line treatment for patients with relapsed forms of the blood cancer in the U.S. and EU. With the label expansion, Kyprolis could become part of a new standard of care and a threat to Celgene's ($CELG) Pomalyst sales.

Amgen could see 5 drug approvals--or rejections--in 2015, marking an important year as the decisions could enable the company's critics or affirm Amgen's much-discussed R&D spending strategy.

Despite its successes, challenges loom for the drugmaker in the coming years, as it will see competition for Enbrel and patent losses. Novartis' ($NVS) Sandoz unit recently scored an approval for a next-gen psoriasis med intended to challenge Enbrel, and Moody's recently reported that Amgen is among the list of companies more threatened by patent losses than a couple of years ago.

-- Eric Sagonowsky (email)

For more:
Amgen's 2014 Revenues Increased 7 Percent To $20.1 Billion
Amgen zooms past $20B in sales, sparked by Enbrel, Neupogen and denosumab
Moody's: Big Pharmas face growing patent-loss threats, but some pipelines are improving
Amgen faces a make-or-break 2015 with its late-stage pipeline


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