Prolia and Parsabiv May Emerge as Amgen’s Major Growth Drivers



Prolia’s growth trends

Amgen’s (AMGN) Prolia accounts for a 20% share of the global osteoporosis market. Despite being a leading branded osteoporosis therapy, improving diagnosis and treatment rates are expected to help boost its overall market penetration.

Due to its six-month dosing pattern, Prolia’s sales are generally lower in the first and third quarters. Amgen is focused on increasing its investment in advancing Prolia’s market share in the postmenopausal osteoporosis segment despite competition from other drugs such as Merck’s (MRK) Fosamax, Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Forteo, and Novartis’s (NVS) Reclast.

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Sensipar’s growth trends

Although Sensipar had a robust 14% YoY (year-over-year) volume growth and subsequently an 18% YoY revenue growth in the first quarter, Amgen expects the quarterly volumes to revert to historical rates in the rest of 2018, assuming there is no entry of generic players. There is some shifting of patients to Parsabiv.

In 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shifted reimbursement of Sensipar for end-stage renal disease patients from Medicare Part D to Medicare Part B under the transitional drug add-on payment adjustment. That changed the supply chain for Sensipar for patients who originally received the drug from pharmacies but now receive it from a dialysis provider.

The increased sales volumes for Sensipar in the first quarter could be attributed to increased orders by dialysis providers to prevent interruptions in the treatment of patients.

Parsabiv’s growth trends

Parsabiv was approved by the FDA in February 2017 for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients suffering with chronic kidney disease. It has seen a rapid adoption by mid-sized dialysis providers in the United States. Larger dialysis providers are testing the drug. Amgen expects to see a rise in its use in the coming quarters. The drug is also witnessing a solid uptake in recently launched international markets.

Besides demonstrating a higher efficacy than Sensipar in a head-to-head trial, nephrologists seem to favor Parsabiv since its administration is under the control of the healthcare provider. Since Parsabiv is delivered to patients through intravenous lines at the time of dialysis, there is a higher possibility of improved treatment compliance.

In the next and final part of this series, we’ll look at the growth prospects for Amgen’s Repatha as well as its biosimilar portfolio.


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