Amgen fell in biosimilars business
Amgen (AMGN) is primarily focused on six therapeutic areas: oncology/hematology, cardiovascular, inflammation, bone health, neuroscience, and nephrology.
Enbrel is part of the company’s inflammation portfolio, which also includes Amjevita, a biosimilar for AbbVie’s (ABBV) Humira. Amjevita is Amgen’s first approved biosimilar. Amjevita was approved in September 2016. Amgen is also developing a biosimilar for Roche’s (RHHBY) key products, Avastin and Herceptin.
Enbrel: A major product for Amgen
Over the past nine months, Enbrel’s share in Amgen’s total revenue remained at 27%. The key drug with over $5.4 billion sales in 2015 is still a major contributor for Amgen. Though Enbrel’s indications are in the rheumatology and dermatology therapeutic areas, ~80% of the business is in the rheumatology space.
During the third quarter of 2016, Enbrel’s sales remained flat. Sequentially, on a value basis, Enbrel maintained its share in rheumatology. However, it lost a 1% share in the dermatology area during the period.
How did Enbrel perform in 3Q16?
During 3Q16, Enbrel recorded sales amounting to $1.45 billion. Of this, $1.39 billion was generated from the US and $64 million from Canada. Enbrel’s sales didn’t fall during 3Q16, as the increase in the net selling price offset the volume decline for the drug. Though the favorable net selling price helped the drug in 2016, it won’t help it in 2017 and beyond.
Additionally, Enbrel’s fall in the volume was following stiff competition from AbbVie, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Merck & Co (MRK) offerings. Maintaining the market share and driving the volume will be the keys to withstanding the competition for Enbrel. If you invest in the PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ), you can gain exposure to Amgen. QQQ invests 2.0% of its assets in the stock.
We’ll discuss the competitive landscape and challenges for Enbrel in the next part.