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How Amgen’s Kyprolis Is Positioned in Second-Line Multiple Myeloma Segment

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Feb. 21 2017, Updated 7:36 a.m. ET

Second-line multiple myeloma

Amgen (AMGN) is focused on positioning its oncology drug, Kyprolis, as a major second-line multiple myeloma therapy in 2017. Data from the ASPIRE and ENDEAVOR trials helped strengthen Kyprolis’s label. To learn more about Kyprolis, please read Kyprolis: Amgen’s Innovative Drug in Oncology Segment.

Based on ENDEAVOR trial data, on January 21, 2016, the FDA approved Kyprolis in combination with dexamethasone, as well as with dexamethasone and lenalidomide as a treatment option for patients suffering with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. These patients need to have already received at least one other therapy prior to the initiation of this combination regimen.

On July 3, 2016, the European Commission also approved Kyprolis in combination with dexamethasone for relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients who have undergone at least one previous therapy.

If this expanded indication significantly boosts Kyprolis’s sales, it may have a favorable impact on Amgen stock as well as on the Vanguard Growth ETF (VUG). Amgen makes up about 1.3% of VUG’s total portfolio holdings.

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Revenue trends

In 2016, Kyprolis’s sales totaled ~$692 million, which is a year-over-year rise of ~35.2%. Despite tough competition from other multiple myeloma players such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), and Celgene (CELG), Amgen has been able to achieve solid growth for Kyprolis due to its targeted marketing campaigns to create awareness among oncologists and patients.

The drug has also been rapidly expanding across multiple international markets. Kyprolis currently accounts for 20% of the second-line multiple myeloma patients and more than 30% of third-line multiple myeloma patients in Europe.

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