Despite tough competition from peers such as Celgene (CELG), Merck & Co. (MRK), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in 2Q16, Amgen’s (AMGN) Kyprolis managed to witness a 24% year-over-year (or YoY) rise in total units sold. This performance can mainly be attributed to the increasing share of Kyprolis in the US multiple myeloma (or MM) market as well as to the launch of the drug in multiple international markets.
Additionally, the increasing duration of therapy has also contributed to the solid growth in the number of Kyprolis units sold. To know more about Kyprolis, please refer to What Could Drive Amgen’s Kyprolis Sales in 2016?
Kyprolis reported strong revenue growth of about 26.7%, from $112 million in 2Q15 to $142 million in 2Q16, in the US market. In the rest of the world, Kyprolis’ sales rose by approximately 328.6%, from $7 million in 2Q15 to $30 million in 2Q16.
In the European market, Kyprolis’s sales have grown sequentially by about 24% in 2Q16, which highlights the demand for the drug as a second-line MM therapy. This revenue will further rise as more European countries include Kyprolis in their reimbursement coverages. Kyprolis is approved as a part of a three-drug regimen based on the ASPIRE trial and as a part of a two-drug regimen based on the ENDEAVOR trial.
Amgen expects Kyprolis to be prescribed as a backbone therapy for MM. The company expects to witness increasing use of the drug for relapsed patients, mainly due to the strong clinical evidence provided of its efficacy through the ASPIRE and ENDEAVOR clinical trials.
Amgen is also exploring the use of Kyprolis as a first-line MM therapy in a clinical trial called CLARION, which comprises 900 patients. In this trial, the efficacy of Kyprolis for newly diagnosed MM patients will be compared to that of velcade. The company expects the results of this trial in 2H16.
If these results are positive, it may boost Amgen’s share price as well as the price of the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB). Amgen makes up about 8.4% of IBB’s total portfolio holdings.
In the next article, we’ll explore the performance of Amgen’s cardiovascular drug Repatha.