Amgen Presents Oncology Data - Analyst Blog


Amgen ( AMGN ) recently presented additional data on its oncology candidate, blinatumomab (AMG 103). The company presented results from a phase II single-arm dose-ranging study which showed that 72% of patients achieved a high rate of complete response (CR).

The study was conducted in adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The most common adverse events observed in patients who received the selected dose and schedule included pyrexia (70%), headache (39%), tremor (30%) and fatigue (30%). Blinatumomab is a bi-specific T-cell engagers (BiTE) antibody, a category of new agents.

Amgen also presented results from an exploratory biomarker analysis evaluating MET expression as a predictor of clinical response to rilotumumab (AMG 102). According to the analysis, median overall survival (OS) improved (from 5.7 months to 11.1 months) in patients whose tumors exhibited high MET protein expression.

In contrast, patients with low MET expression experienced a trend towards unfavorable OS. The patients were suffering from locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal cancer and were treated with rilotumumab plus chemotherapy.

Amgen intends to conduct a phase III study to evaluate rilotumumab in advanced gastric and gastroesophageal cancer patients with high MET expression. Amgen has a collaboration agreement with Dako for the development of a companion diagnostic test that can be used with rilotumumab.

Full results on both blinatumomab and rilotumumab will be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Amgen will have a strong presence at ASCO this year. The company intends to present results on 12 molecules from its oncology portfolio. In addition to presenting data on blinatumomab and rilotumumab, Amgen will present data on talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), AMG 386 as well as denosumab among others.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Amgen, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). Other companies that will have a strong presence at ASCO 2012 include Pfizer ( PFE ) and Roche ( RHHBY ).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ALL , AMGN , ASCO , CR , OS

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