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Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

Amgen and Abgenix Complete Biologics License Application for FDA Approval of Panitumumab

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. & FREMONT, Calif., March 30, 2006 -- Amgen and Abgenix, Inc. today announced that Amgen has completed the Biologic License Application (BLA) submission with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for panitumumab. The potential indication is for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer in patients who have failed prior chemotherapy, including oxaliplatin and/or irinotecan containing regimens. The rolling BLA submission was initiated in December 2005.

"The pivotal Phase 3 study of panitumumab not only met the primary endpoint of improving progression-free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, but the results surpassed our expectations based on preset measurement criteria in the protocol," said Willard Dere, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president of Global Development at Amgen. "Completing the BLA brings us one step closer to realizing our goal of making panitumumab accessible to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have failed available treatment options."

Amgen and Abgenix previously announced that data from a randomized Phase 3 trial involving 463 patients showed that those who received panitumumab every two weeks showed a 46 percent decrease in tumor progression rate versus those who received best supportive care alone (p less than 0.000 000 001). The most common side effect was acneiform rash. Other side effects less commonly observed were fatigue, nausea and mild diarrhea.

Results from this pivotal Phase 3 study will be presented in a Clinical Plenary Session at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on April 3, 2006. Amgen will host a webcast with the investment community to discuss the results on Monday, April 3, 2006, at 12:30 P.M. EDT. Open to members of the news media, investors and the general public, the webcast can be found on Amgen's Web site,, under Investors. It will be archived and available for replay at least 72 hours after the event.

About Panitumumab

Panitumumab is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody that targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr), a protein that plays an important role in cancer cell signaling. Panitumumab, an IgG2 monoclonal antibody, binds with high affinity to the EGFr. Panitumumab was generated with XenoMouse(R) technology, which creates a fully human monoclonal antibody that contains no murine (mouse) protein. The body's immune system can recognize the mouse protein found in chimeric and humanized antibodies as foreign and launch an immune response in the form of infusion reactions, allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. The goal of developing fully human monoclonal antibodies is to offer effective, high affinity therapies that minimize the potential for this type of immune response.

Panitumumab received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2005 for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have failed standard chemotherapy treatment. It is being evaluated in clinical trials as both a monotherapy and in combination with other agents for the treatment of various types of cancer, including colorectal, lung and head and neck.

About the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFr)

Although EGFr normally helps regulate the growth of many different cells in the body, EGFr also can stimulate cancer cells to grow. In fact, many cancer cells actually require signals mediated by EGFr for their survival. Residing on the surface of these tumor cells, EGFr is activated when naturally occurring proteins in the body, such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) or transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha), bind to it. This binding changes the shape of EGFr, which, in turn, triggers internal cellular signals that stimulate tumor cell growth. Panitumumab binds to EGFr, preventing the natural ligands such as EGF and TGF-alpha from binding to the receptor and interfering with the signals that would otherwise stimulate growth of the cancer cell and allow it to survive.

About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and in women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 106,680 new cases of colon cancer and 41,930 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2006.

Source: Amgen and Abgenix

Posted: March 2006

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