Am­gen shares fall as drug gets par­tial nod

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS -

GAITHERS­BURG, US: The world’s big­gest biotech­nol­ogy com­pany Am­gen won a par­tial en­dorse­ment this week for the most im­por­tant prod­uct in its pipe­line – a first-of-its-kind medicine made to com­pete in an $8 bil­lion mar­ket for os­teo­poro­sis treat­ments.

A US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion panel unan­i­mously backed the drug, deno­sumab, as a treat­ment for os­teo­porotic pa­tients, but con­cerns about se­ri­ous in­fec­tions and po­ten­tial long-term risks led them to urge against giv­ing the twicea-year in­jec­tion to pre­vent the dis­ease. The com­mit­tee also re­jected most can­cer-re­lated uses pro­posed.

Shares of the world’s big­gest biotech­nol­ogy com­pany fell 2 per­cent to $60.86 be­fore trad­ing closed on Nas­daq and then dropped to $60.50 in late af­ter-hours trade.

Shares had jumped 27 per­cent in the past three months, to 60, largely on news of clin­i­cal tri­als that showed the drug was as at least as ef­fec­tive, and some­times bet­ter, than stan­dard os­teo­poro­sis treat­ments.

The bone-thin­ning dis­ease af­fects an es­ti­mated 10 mil­lion Amer­i­cans. Global sales of os­teo­poro­sis drugs hit about $8.4 bn last year, ac­cord­ing to IMS Health. – Reuters

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