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Amgen Continues to Be Confident in Repatha in 2017

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

Repatha’s performance in 1Q17

In 1Q17, Amgen’s (AMGN) PCSK9 inhibitor therapy, Repatha, reported revenue of nearly $49 million. The drug earned $33 million in revenue in US markets and $16 million in international revenue. These revenues were lower than those reported by Repatha in 4Q16, when orders for the drug rose due to a tender in the Middle East.

If Amgen manages to improve payer access for Repatha throughout the rest of 2017, it could have a favorable impact on the company’s share price along with the price of the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV). Amgen makes up ~4.2% of XLV’s total portfolio holdings.

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Increasing market share

In 1Q17, Repatha accounted for 64% of total new-to-brand prescription shares, significantly more than Regeneron (REGN) and Sanofi’s (SNY) Praluent. The drug’s share even reached 70% at the end of 1Q17,

In 1Q17, Repatha witnessed 14% and 28% quarter-over-quarter rises in unit volumes in the United States and Europe, respectively. There’s a significant scope for growth in demand for Repatha in the coming quarters, owing to the huge burden of cardiovascular diseases. The United States spends ~$600 billion annually on the treatment of these diseases. However, in the absence of effective therapies such as Repatha, Amgen expects these healthcare costs to reach beyond $1.2 trillion by 2035. To know more about Repatha, read Repatha Represents a Solid Growth Opportunity for Amgen in 2017.

Cardiovascular outcomes study

On March 17, 2017, Amgen announced positive results from its cardiovascular outcomes study, FOURIER. In this trial, the drug, when combined with optimized statin therapies such as those from Pfizer (PFE) and Merck & Co., reduced the composite major adverse cardiovascular event (or MACE) composite endpoint by 20%.

The data also demonstrated a 27% decline in the risk of heart attacks, a 22% drop in the coronary revascularization rate, and a 21% drop in the risk of a stroke. Since the burden of cardiovascular diseases in the United States is greater than $600 billion annually and is projected to escalate to $1.2 trillion by 2035, Amgen expects payer access constraints to gradually reduce for Repatha.

In the next article, we’ll discuss growth prospects for Amgen’s innovative oncology drug, Kyprolis, in 2017.

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