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Amgen Spending $200M On Drug Facility

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 6:30pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Biotechnology company Amgen Inc. said it plans to spend $200 million over the next several years to build a new antibody manufacturing facility in Singapore.

Amgen said the facility will make clinical and commercial products. The drugs will be monoclonal antibodies, which use a person's immune system to fight diseases. Construction is expected to start in the next few months.

Amgen makes several monoclonal antibody drugs, including the bone drug denosumab, cancer treatment Vectibix, and experimental products including the cholesterol drug AMG 145 and osteoporosis drug AMG 785. Denosumab is marketed under the name Prolia as a treatment for osteoporosis, and a different dose of the drug is marketed as Xgeva for the prevention of fractures in cancerous bones.

In April 2012, Amgen and British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC agreed to jointly develop five monoclonal antibodies as treatments for inflammatory diseases.

Separately, Amgen said Wednesday that its anemia drug Aranesp did not meet its goal in a clinical trial. The late-stage trial was designed to determine if patients treated with Aranesp lived longer or had more time to hospital admission because their heart failure was getting worse. Amgen said patients who were given Aranesp didn't do significantly better than patients who received a placebo.

Aranesp is approved as a treatment for anemia caused by chronic kidney disease, and for patients who have treat anemia because of chemotherapy.

Shares of Amgen lost 76 cents to $84.32 on Wednesday and gained a penny to $84.33 in after-hours trading.

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