THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted Amgen's submission and filed a Biologics License Application (BLA) for denosumab, an investigational RANK Ligand inhibitor. The indications for which Amgen is seeking FDA approval are treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMO) in women and treatment and prevention of bone loss in patients undergoing hormone ablation therapy for either prostate or breast cancer.
The FDA will target an Agency action within ten months of the application's submission date, resulting in a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date of Oct. 19, 2009. Due to the interdependency of the data across the indications from more than 11,000 patients, both files will be reviewed simultaneously.
Amgen has also submitted marketing applications for use of denosumab for these indications in the European Union, Canada, Switzerland, and Australia.
Denosumab is the first fully human monoclonal antibody in late stage clinical development that specifically targets RANK Ligand, an essential regulator of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bone). Denosumab is being investigated for its potential to inhibit all stages of osteoclast activity through a targeted mechanism. Denosumab is being studied in a range of bone loss conditions including PMO and bone loss in patients undergoing hormone ablation for prostate and breast cancer, as well as for its potential to delay bone metastases and inhibit and treat bone destruction across many stages of cancer. Denosumab is also being investigated in rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoporosis: Impact and Prevalence
Often referred to as the "silent epidemic," osteoporosis is a global problem that is increasing in significance as the population of the world both increases and ages. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently identified osteoporosis as a priority health issue along with other major non-communicable diseases.
The economic burden of osteoporosis is comparable to that of other major chronic diseases; for example, in the U.S. the costs associated with osteoporosis-related fractures are equivalent to those of cardiovascular disease and asthma (i,ii,iii). It has been reported that osteoporosis results in more hospital bed-days than stroke, myocardial infarction or breast cancer.(iv)
Hormonal Treatment-Induced Bone Loss
In the U.S., prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is common for prostate cancer and breast cancer patients to receive hormone ablation therapies that can lead to a decrease in bone mass and increased risk of fractures. Currently there are no approved therapies for bone loss in patients undergoing hormone ablation for either prostate or breast cancer.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial metrics, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, reimbursement activities and outcomes and other such estimates and results. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and more fully described in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports filed by Amgen, including Amgen's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and most recent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Please refer to Amgen's most recent Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K for additional information on the uncertainties and risk factors related to our business. Unless otherwise noted, Amgen is providing this information as of Feb. 18, 2009 and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this news release.
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CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks Sarah Reines: (805) 447-9783 (media, osteoporosis) Lisa Rooney: (805) 447-6437 (media, oncology) Arvind Sood: (805) 447-1060 (investors)
(i) Burge R, et al. J Bone Miner Res. 2007; 22:465-475
(ii) "Osteoporosis Fast Facts." Washington (DC): National Osteoporosis Foundation. Accessed at http://www.nof.org/osteoporosis/stats.html.
(iii) "Economic Cost of Cardiovascular Diseases." Dallas (TX): American Heart Association. Accessed at http://www.americanheart.org/statistics/10econom.html.
(iv) Lippuner K, et al. "Incidence and direct medical costs of hospitalisations due to osteoporotic fractures in switzerland." Osteoporosis International. 1997;7:414-25.
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