New drug will be used for those who cannot tolerate Lipitor-like drugs
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/28/2012 -- AMG-145, a new drug that targets cholesterol-regulating gene PCSK9 in the liver, as well as reduce LCL by 51% in patients exhibiting intolerance to Lipitor and like-drugs is making waves among researchers. The drug drops statins by 63% among those taking it in combination with Merck & Co.’s Zetia, a cholesterol drug.
The information was presented to the American Heart Association, which met in Los Angeles recently.
The focus has moved to the drug’s potential to assist in the declining sales for Amgen’s drug Aranesp and Epogen. The two drugs generate $5 billion in estimated sales this year, but are now facing increasing competition in the coming fiscal years. A California-based competition, The Thousand Oaks company is competing with some of the world’s largest drugmakers, like Pfizer, Roche Holding AG, and Sanofi to be the first on the market with new medicines to control cholesterol levels.
“Close to a million people in the U.S. alone who are treated with statins cannot tolerate them or the doses needed for effective cholesterol control,” said Evan Stein, director of the Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center in Cincinnati and one of the study’s researchers.
The general market for the PCSK9 inhibitors is estimated around $10 billion, according to Adnan Butt, who is an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in San Francisco. There are around 1 million users who cannot take statins due to the effects on muscles, which include mild-to-severe soreness.
While Pfizer and other companies look to beat Amgen to the punch, the relatively smaller company is scheduled to release data at the heart meeting on how its patients who are incapable of gaining appropriate levels of cholesterol on standard statins responded to AMG-145.
Shares for Amgen declined by <1% to $86.35 at closing; however the stock has increased over one-third total value in 2012.
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