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Amgen sales slide as copies dig into Sensipar, Neulasta


Amgen’s CGRP launch Aimovig generated $83 million during the second quarter, helping offset losses of exclusivity that cost the drugmaker. (Amgen)

Amgen is contending with some costly losses of exclusivity, and as sales for old stalwarts slide, the drugmaker is shifting its focus to a host of new launches in a bid to grow down the line. 

For now, though, sharp declines for two old meds are hurting the drugmaker’s performance. Amgen posted a 3% revenue decline to $5.9 billion in second-quarter results released Tuesday. The decrease came thanks to copycat competition for white blood cell booster Neulasta and calcium reducer Sensipar, which posted quarterly sales declines of 25% and 71%, respectively. 

Those drops create quite a large hurdle to growth for Amgen—even as the drugmaker has several meds on the upswing. Prolia, Repatha, Parsabiv and Aimovig prescriptions grew by double digits or better during the period, the drugmaker reported. 

Sales of osteoporosis med Prolia jumped 14% to $698 million during the quarter, while Repatha’s 3% revenue increase was tempered due to a recent discount Amgen implemented. Immunology med Enbrel remains a strong performer for the company, and it chipped in a sales increase of 5% to hit $1.36 billion during the period.   

Despite the overall sales decline, Amgen’s revenue haul came in above consensus analyst estimates by $175 million. Earnings per share of $3.57 also bested analyst expectations.  

Amgen doesn’t plan to see its sales dip for long, though. Looking forward, the company intends to grow thanks to a host of oncology launches, plus CGRP migraine med Aimovig and other treatments. The company recently launched two biosimilars to Roche cancer blockbusters, which could start to chip in as well. Outside of the U.S., Amgen’s biosims chipped in $82 million in second-quarter sales. 

Aimovig, which is early in its U.S. launch, contributed $83 million in sales during the quarter. The drug is contending with Eli Lilly’s Emgality and Teva’s Ajovy, and Lilly execs reported strong progress for their drug earlier on Tuesday.  

In all, Amgen CEO Robert Bradway said the company is “well positioned to serve patients and deliver long-term growth for our shareholders” as new meds gain uptake and the drugmaker advances its pipeline.