Amgen builds a blockbuster case for denosumab

Amgen shares got a boost this morning as researchers for the company continued to build a blockbuster case for their bone drug denosumab. In a late-stage comparison study, a group of cancer patients taking the drug did slightly better than a group given Zometa in the amount of time it took before suffering a fracture or other skeletal-related event (SRE).

The goal of the trial was to prove non-inferiority. But the denosumab group reported an average delay of 20.6 months before experiencing an SRE. The Zometa group experienced an average delay of 16.3 months. Data on a comparison study for breast cancer patients will be released tomorrow at the ECCO-ESMO conference in Berlin.

The biotech giant has been steadily building a compelling case for denosumab. Bone destruction is a common hazard for cancer patients and represents a large potential market for the drug. Amgen's shares rose close to two percent on the data.

"It is encouraging to see denosumab's efficacy in this broad cancer population. There is no need for renal monitoring or dose adjustments due to renal impairment," said David Henry of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia.

- here's the press release
- read the story from Reuters