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Amgen Touts New Trial Of Bone-Strengthening Drug

From Associated Press (December 14, 2010)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Amgen said Monday results of a late-stage drug trial show the biotech company’s drug Xgeva can lead to prostate cancer patients surviving longer without tumors spreading to bone tissue.

The trial, known as the 147 study, involved 1,432 men with castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

It showed that Xgeva significantly improved median bone metastasis-free survival by 4.2 months compared to placebo, Amgen said.

In addition, the study showed the drug significantly improved the time to first occurrence of bone metastases, the company said.

Overall survival was similar among patients taking the drug and those who took placebo, Amgen said.

Last month, health regulators approved Amgen’s bone-strengthening drug denosumab for patients with solid tumors. The company already sells the drug under the name Prolia as a treatment for osteoporosis caused by menopause. Now it is seeking to market the drug as Xgeva to treat patients with advanced cancer.

Roger Perlmutter, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, said the data demonstrate that Xgeva limits the ability of tumors to colonize bone.

The data suggest that in bone metastasis, the invasion of cancer is facilitated by bone destruction, Amgen said.

Xgeva works by blocking a protein that breaks down bone cells.

Amgen’s shares gained $3.64, or 6.7 percent, to $57.75 in aftermarket trading after adding 22 cents to $54.11 during the regular session.


Posted: December 2010