Amgen touts progress in two key programs

With sales of its blockbuster anemia drug Aranesp slipping amid some serious questions about their safety, analysts were cheered by the news that two of the biotech giant's development programs were making positive progress. Executives announced that the osteoporosis therapy denosumab met all of its primary and secondary endpoints in a trial of 332 volunteers. And researchers reported encouraging results with AMG531, an autoimmune blood disorder drug that treats immune thrombocytopenic purpura. Overall, says Amgen, profits shot up 11 percent in the first quarter. Analysts generally applauded the news about Amgen's development programs, seeing signs that the company could weather the storm over its anemia drugs. Fariba Ghodsian, an analyst with Dafna Capital in Los Angeles, says that denosumab has the potential to go on to become a blockbuster therapy.

- for more on the trials and Amgen's financial results, see this release
- read the report on Amgen from The Los Angeles Times

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