Factors That Will Determine Repatha’s Future Commercial Success



Repatha’s commercial success

Amgen (AMGN) believes that Repatha will be widely accepted as a major cardiovascular therapy for high-risk patients. The company expects the drug to become a commercial success both in US and international markets.

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Reimbursement restrictions

Repatha is expected to become a commercial success as health insurers reduce their reimbursement-related restrictions in the United States. Commercial payers have been implementing several utilization management criteria for Repatha, which has proved to be an obstacle in the drug’s uptake.

Amgen has been actively involved in negotiating with these payers to enable increased access to Repatha. To know more about Repatha’s drug profile, please refer to Could Repatha Be Amgen’s Key Growth Opportunity in 2016?

Mode of delivery

Enhanced drug delivery mechanisms are instrumental in improving overall patient experience. Amgen has introduced Pushtronex, a monthly injection for Repatha in the US market. This will enable the company to either offer auto-injector pens to patients for weekly drug administration or to offer Pushtronex as a monthly injection.

This innovation is expected to help Repatha pose tough competition to Regeneron’s (REGN) and Sanofi’s (SNY) PCSK9 inhibitor drug Praluent (alirocumab).

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Clinical trials

Amgen expects that coronary imaging data from its GLAGOV study, which may be released in late 2016, and outcome data from its FOURIER study, which is expected in early 2017, will further strengthen Repatha’s position in the cardiovascular segment.

These data are expected to highlight Repatha’s efficacy and safety profile, making it a strong competition for drugs such as Pfizer’s (PFE) Lipitor and AstraZeneca’s Crestor.

International launches

Amgen has been actively involved in reimbursement-related negotiations for launching Repatha in European markets. Currently, the drug is being launched in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

If Repatha becomes a commercial success, it could boost Amgen’s share price as well as the price of the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV). Amgen makes up about 0.67% of IVV’s total portfolio holdings.

In the next article, we’ll explore the performances of Amgen’s mature products Neupogen, Neulasta, and Epogen in 2Q16.


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