About Amgen Inc.

Amgen is among the biggest of the biotechs. The company uses cellular biology and medicinal chemistry to target cancers, kidney ailments, inflammatory disorders, and metabolic diseases. Its top protein-based therapeutic products include Neulasta and Neupogen (both used as anti-infectives in cancer patients), Aranesp and Epogen (used to fight anemia in chronic kidney disease and cancer patients), and Enbrel for rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, Amgen has extensive drug research and development programs. Its products are marketed in approximately 100 countries to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers.

Operations

Amgen's six therapeutic areas of focus are oncology and hematology, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, bone health, nephrology, and neuroscience.

In addition to Neulasta, Neupogen, Aranesp, Epogen, and Enbrel, some of the company's marketed drugs include XGEVA (for the prevention of skeletal-related events) and Sensipar/Mimpara (for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis). Amgen also markets Vectibix, Nplate, Kyprolis, BLINCYTO, Repatha, Corlanor, and IMLYGIC.

On the pipeline, Amgen has a few products in phase 3 testing: Its GAUSS-3 study is evaluating Repatha for lowering cholesterol in patients who can't tolerate statins; ARCADE is being studied as a treatment for anemic patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); and the ASPIRE study is comparing treatments for relapsed multiple myeloma.

Amgen has a 50-50 partnership with Japanese brewer and drugmaker Kirin through which it develops and out-licenses certain product rights. (It agreed to buy Kirin out for $780 million in 2017.) Additionally, it has a collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop and commercialize some of the monoclonal antibodies from its clinical inflammation portfolio. The company is also working with UCB to develop and commercialize romosozumab, which has shown positive results for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Amgen is working with Bayer HealthCare to develop and commercialize Nexavar around the world.

Geographic Reach

Amgen operates distribution centers in the US (primarily in California and Kentucky) and the Netherlands. Though its products are marketed in nearly 100 countries (primarily in North America and Europe), the US accounts for some 80% of revenue. Amgen continues to expand into growth markets, adding new markets in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

The company operates manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Turkey.

Sales and Marketing

Sales of Amgen's top offerings -- Neulasta, Enbrel, Aranesp, and Sensipar/Mimpara -- together account for almost 70% of annual revenues. Most of these sales take place within the US market, where they are distributed through wholesalers including AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Cardinal Health. Amgen employs a direct sales force in the US, Canadian, and European markets to promote its products; it uses partners and independent representatives in other global markets. For instance, Kirin sells the Neupogen/Neulasta compunds in Asian markets, and Enbrel is marketed internationally by Pfizer.

Amgen also markets certain of its products directly to consumers using print, online, and television advertising. With partners, the company markets products to health care providers including physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies.

Sales to AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Cardinal Health each account for more than 10% of total revenue.

Financial Performance

Amgen's revenue has been trending up for several years and 2016 didn't buck the trend. Revenue rose 6% to $23 billion as all products except Epogen and Neupogen had increased sales. Gains were largely due to an increase in average net sales prices and driven by higher demand. Epogen and Neupogen sales were down about 30% each, due to decreased demand in the US.

Net income, which has also been rising, increased 11% to $7.7 billion in 2016 thanks to the higher revenue and lower cost of sales and research and development expenses. Cash flow from operations, like net income, has been climbing; it rose 14% to $10.4 billion in 2016.

Strategy

Amgen's strategy for growth covers seven key areas: developing innovative medicines, transforming itself for the future, expanding its global reach, transitioning to next-generation biomanufacturing, improving its drug delivery systems, allocating capital and investments for the long term, and branching into branded biosimilars. It has made strides in these areas by such efforts as launching products around the world (it launched 94 products in various markets during 2016) and investing in its manufacturing capabilities (including its new Singapore plant). However, the company faces challenges which it plans to face head on.

To prepare for the future loss of patent protection on its top products in coming years, Amgen is launching new products it hopes will best its bestsellers, and expanding market share outside of the US. The company expects an increase in competition in future years due to US health care reform legislation that aims to allow for the approval of biosimilars (generic biotech drugs) in a shorter amount of time. Such rules already apply in the European Union, where the firm faces competition from generic biologics on products including Aranesp, Neupogen, and Neulasta. In fact, the company is itself now engaging in the world of biosimilars. It has nine biosimilars in development, and it established a partnership with Daiichi Sankyo in 2016 to commercialize nine biosimilars (including copies of adalimumab, bevacizumab, and trastuzumab) in Japan.

Looking for other new products, Amgen's research and development activities are focused on identifying and validating targets through human genetics. Amgen boasts a bulging internal R&D pipeline of compounds that target cancer, inflammation, kidney disease, and neurological, cardiovascular, and bone and blood disorders, mostly based on biotech (molecular and cellular biology) technologies. In addition to its proprietary efforts, the company expands its product line through periodic acquisitions and partnerships. For example, Amgen has co-development deals with drugmakers including Takeda Pharmaceutical; it has a neuroscience collaboration with Novartis encompassing Alzheimer's disease and migraine headache studies.

The company also relies on gaining additional approvals on its existing bestsellers to round out its revenue channels and extend their patent protection as long as possible. For example, in addition to being a key player in the rheumatoid arthritis market, Enbrel's sales have climbed as the FDA has approved the drug to be used for psoriasis and other related inflammatory conditions. Additionally, Amgen works to shift existing patients over to its newer, next-generation products as patents expire; for instance, as Neupogen begins to face competition from biosimilars in some markets, the company has worked to shift patients over to Neulasta, its newer patent-protected offering for neutropenia (a low white-blood cell condition found in chemotherapy patients). In 2015, the company launched the Neulasta Onpro kit, a new drug delivery option for chemotherapy patients.

In addition, Amgen has been conducting cost-cutting efforts, including the streamlining of facilities and sales of some non-core assets. The company aims to keep its operations nimble to minimize losses from patent expirations and other competitive and economic hazards that might impact its operations.

Mergers and Acquisitions

While the US market accounts for 80% of annual revenues, Amgen has also been working to extend its reach in international markets. In addition to extending its product offerings into high-growth regions such as Japan, China, Russia, and Africa, the firm has made select international acquisitions. In 2015 the company bought Netherlands-based Dezima Pharma, a biotechnology firm working on cardiovascular disease treatments. The $1.55 billion deal added Dezima's AMG 899 and Repatha (cholesterol inhibitors for patients with high lipids in the blood) to Amgen's portfolio.

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Amgen Inc.

1 Amgen Center Dr
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-1799
Phone: 1 (805) 447-1000
Fax: 1 (805) 499-2352

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: AMGN
  • Stock Exchange: NASDAQ
  • Chairman and CEO: Robert A. Bradway
  • EVP and CFO: David W. Meline
  • EVP Operations: Esteban Santos
  • 2016 Employees: 19,200

Major Office Locations

  • Thousand Oaks, CA

Other Locations

  • Newbury Park, CA
  • South San Francisco, CA
  • Longmont, CO
  • Washington, DC
  • Louisville, KY
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Chesterbrook, PA
  • West Greenwich, RI
  • Houston, TX
  • Bothell, WA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Barueri, Brazil
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Taboao Da Serra, Brazil
  • Saint-Lambert, Canada
  • Surrey, Canada
  • Hellerup, Denmark
  • Oslo, Norway
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