Amgen Announces Overall Survival Results for Vectibix in First-Line Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Phase 3 Results Reinforce Importance of KRAS Status

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) today announced that the Phase 3 PRIME "203" trial evaluating Vectibix® (panitumumab) administered in combination with FOLFOX (an oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy) as a first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) failed to meet a secondary endpoint of overall survival. Earlier this year, it was announced that the trial met its primary endpoint by significantly prolonging progression-free survival (PFS) in the first-line treatment of patients with KRAS wild-type mCRC.

The prospective analysis of the 203 study showed that Vectibix, when added to a FOLFOX chemotherapy regimen in patients with KRAS wild-type mCRC, resulted in a median overall survival of 23.9 months compared to 19.7 months for patients treated with FOLFOX alone. The median overall survival difference of 4.2 months in the Vectibix arm did not reach statistical significance (HR=0.83, p=0.072).

"As we previously announced, the 203 study met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival in the first-line treatment of patients with KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer," said Roger M. Perlmutter, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "While not statistically significant, we are also encouraged by the positive trend of the data for overall survival for these patients treated with Vectibix."

Overall survival appeared to be reduced in patients with KRAS mutant tumors receiving Vectibix. Although not statistically significant, this result emphasizes the importance, as described in product labeling, of ensuring that patients receiving Vectibix do not bear tumors containing KRAS mutations.

Overall, the adverse event profile was as anticipated for an anti-EGFR antibody in combination with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, including known events such as rash, diarrhea and hypomagnesemia. Vectibix-related grade 3 infusion reactions were reported for two patients (less than 1 percent).

Originally designed to compare the treatment effect in the overall population, the study was amended to analyze outcomes with respect to the presence or absence of activating mutations in KRAS in the tumor itself. Tumor KRAS status was ascertained in more than 90 percent of the 1,183 patients enrolled in the trial.

Available results from the trial were presented earlier this year at the 2009 ECCO 15 - ESMO 34 European Multidisciplinary Congress in Berlin, Germany showing that Vectibix significantly improved median progression-free survival by 1.6 months (9.6 versus 8.0 months for patients treated with FOLFOX alone, in patients with KRAS wild-type mCRC (primary endpoint). Further, the addition of Vectibix to chemotherapy also improved response rate in the KRAS wild-type patient population as measured by blinded central review (55 percent versus 48 percent in the FOLFOX only arm).

The data for the 203 study has been submitted for consideration of presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology - The Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium Meeting for 2010.

Study Design

Patients enrolled in the "203" or PRIME trial (Panitumumab Randomized trial in combination with chemotherapy for Metastatic colorectal cancer to determine Efficacy) were randomized to receive either 6.0 mg/kg of Vectibix and FOLFOX4 once every two weeks (Q2W) or FOLFOX4 alone Q2W. The primary endpoint of the study is progression-free survival by KRAS status and secondary endpoints include overall survival, objective response rate, time to progression, duration of response and safety.

About KRAS

Results from studies performed over the last twenty-five years indicate that KRAS plays an important role in cell growth regulation. In mCRC, EGFR transmits signals through a set of intracellular proteins. Upon reaching the nucleus, these signals instruct the cancer cell to reproduce and metastasize, leading to cancer progression. Anti-EGFR antibody therapies work by blocking the activation of EGFR, thereby inhibiting downstream events that lead to malignant signaling. However, it is hypothesized that in patients whose tumors harbor a mutated KRAS gene, the KRAS protein is always turned "on," regardless of whether the EGFR has been activated or therapeutically inhibited. KRAS mutations occur in approximately 40 - 50 percent of mCRC.

About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the third most common cancer in women worldwide. In 2007, approximately 1.2 million cases of colorectal cancer were expected to occur globally. With more than 630,000 deaths worldwide per year, it is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world. The highest incidence rates are found in Japan, North America, parts of Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, and rates are low in Africa and South-East Asia. Rates are substantially higher in men than in women.

About Vectibix

Vectibix is the first fully human anti-EGFR antibody approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mCRC. Vectibix was approved in the United States in September 2006 as a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with EGFR expressing mCRC after disease progression on or following fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-containing chemotherapy regimens.

The effectiveness of Vectibix as a single agent for the treatment of EGFR-expressing, metastatic colorectal carcinoma is based on progression-free survival. Currently no data are available that demonstrate an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival with Vectibix. Vectibix has not shown a treatment benefit for patients whose tumors had KRAS mutations in codon 12 or 13.

In December 2007, the EMEA granted a conditional marketing authorization for Vectibix as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with EGFR-expressing mCRC with wild-type KRAS genes after failure of standard chemotherapy regimens. Vectibix has been launched in over 20 countries, Switzerland, Australia and Canada. Applications in the rest of the world are pending.

Important Product Safety Information

Dermatologic Toxicity: Dermatologic toxicities occurred in 89 percent of patients and were severe (NCI-CTC grade 3 and higher) in 12 percent of patients receiving Vectibix monotherapy. Withhold Vectibix for dermatologic toxicities that are grade 3 or higher or are considered intolerable. If toxicity does not improve to

Infusion Reactions: Severe infusion reactions occurred in approximately 1 percent of patients. Severe infusion reactions included anaphylactic reactions, bronchospasm, and hypotension. Although not reported with Vectibix, fatal infusion reactions have occurred with other monoclonal antibody products. Stop infusion if a severe infusion reaction occurs. Depending on the severity and/or persistence of the reaction, permanently discontinue Vectibix.

About Amgen

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.

Forward-Looking Statements

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 Nov. 5, 2009 and expressly disclaims any duty to update information contained in this news release.

No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those we project. Discovery or identification of new product candidates or development of new indications for existing products cannot be guaranteed and movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate or development of a new indication for an existing product will be successful and become a commercial product. Further, preclinical results do not guarantee safe and effective performance of product candidates in humans. The complexity of the human body cannot be perfectly, or sometimes, even adequately modeled by computer or cell culture systems or animal models. The length of time that it takes for us to complete clinical trials and obtain regulatory approval for product marketing has in the past varied and we expect similar variability in the future. We develop product candidates internally and through licensing collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures. Product candidates that are derived from relationships may be subject to disputes between the parties or may prove to be not as effective or as safe as we may have believed at the time of entering into such relationship. Also, we or others could identify safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with our products after they are on the market. Our business may be impacted by government investigations, litigation and products liability claims. We depend on third parties for a significant portion of our manufacturing capacity for the supply of certain of our current and future products and limits on supply may constrain sales of certain of our current products and product candidate development.

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The scientific information discussed in this news release relating to new indications for our products is preliminary and investigative and is not part of the labeling approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the products. The products are not approved for the investigational use(s) discussed in this news release, and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or effectiveness of the products for these uses. Only the FDA can determine whether the products are safe and effective for these uses. Healthcare professionals should refer to and rely upon the FDA-approved labeling for the products, and not the information discussed in this news release.

  CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
  Ashleigh Koss: 805-313-6151 (media)
  Arvind Sood: 805-447-1060 (investors)

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Source: Amgen

CONTACT: media, Ashleigh Koss, +1-805-313-6151, or investors, Arvind Sood, +1-805-447-1060, both of Amgen, Thousand Oaks

Web Site: http://www.amgen.com/

Posted: November 2009

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