Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) has gone up a lot in share price over the last few years. Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) has climbed up 91% over the past three years, leaving long-term investors with a lot of gains. In the same time period the Dow Jones has only gone up 64%. Despite the big run, the company can still see its share price rise higher in the coming years. The company has been known for producing big blockbuster drugs, and will continue to do so in the future. I attribute a lot of the success on these three particular drugs: Epogen, Neupogen/Neulasta, and Enbrel.
Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) has a nice pipeline of drugs. This is especially true when Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) had acquired Decode for $415 million back in 2012. Decode was researching genetics to target diseases. Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) liked how Decode was able to find a gene that was the cause of Alzheimers disease, and to target it with drugs. From this year until 2016, Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) plans to report eight late-stage trials. Two important ones are talimogene use to treat Melanoma, and AMG 145, which is supposed to lower cholesterol. I would say that the most important of the late-stage pipeline drugs would be AMG 145, because the cholesterol market is now estimated to be a $20 billion dollar market, or larger.
Blockbuster drug to the rescue
Epogen was first approved by the FDA back in 1989 for use in dialysis patients with Anemia. The drug has made the company over $37 billion since its approval. The only downside with Epogen is that the patent for it is set to expire this year in 2013. As you can imagine, this will be a huge hit to the company in sales, as there are about 400,000 or more dialysis patients that need to use this drug.
There was a slight bit of competition in 2012, when the FDA approved Omontys from a biotech name known as Affymax, Inc. (OTCMKTS:AFFY). The competition from Affymax, Inc. (OTCMKTS:AFFY) was short lived as the company announced removal of Omontys off the market to investigate deaths, from patients who took the drug. This situation now allows Amgen to be the sole provider for dialysis patients with Anemia.
The other drug from Amgen that had big sales was Enbrel. One key thing to note is that Amgen’s research and development team didn’t create the drug at all. Amgen had acquired small-cap biotech stock Immunex back in 2003. The acquired company was working on Enbrel, which is used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis. I would say that Amgen has had decent success with Enbrel, but the downside is that it has to share its profits with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE).
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has its own drug currently out on the market that treats many types of arthritis, called Celebrex. Celebrex is a big money maker for Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), because the drug produced $2.72 billion in profit in 2012. Another good thing for the company is that in March of 2013, it won a patent ruling. This ruling gives Pfizer market exclusivity for Celebrex until 2015.
Amgen has a drug called Neupogen which boosts white blood cells in patients who have cancer and take chemotherapy. There is an increased version of Neupogen known as Neulasta. I say increased version because Neulasta is the same drug as Neupogen, but it requires fewer injections. Amgen obtains more money per treatment for Neulasta.