Amgen Shows Off Cancer Drug Pipeline Before Scientific Meeting

4/16/09Follow @xconomy

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in Amgen’s pipeline that analysts have been writing about for months. It’s a treatment for osteoporosis, cancer, and the bone breakdown that can result from cancer therapy. Dmab is designed to work unlike any other treatment on the market for osteoporosis, or for bone tumors. It is meant to block the action of a protein called RANK Ligand, which activates osteoclast cells that lead to the breakdown of bones, as I described in this feature in October.

Amgen has completed enrollment in a host of clinical trials of more than 21,000 patients on this drug, Baynes said. It expects to release results of a big Dmab trial before the end of September to see if it can help improve the bone health of breast cancer patients, and before the end of the year among patients with other solid tumors. Trials of Dmab for prostate cancer should produce results in 2010, he said.

—AMG-386. This drug candidate is designed to block the formation of blood vessels in tumors, and works through a different mechanism of action than the standard-bearer of this field, Genentech/Roche’s bevacizumab (Avastin). The Amgen candidate in is mid-stage studies for colorectal cancer, gastric, breast, ovarian, and other cancers. Results from a mid-stage study of gastric cancer should be available before year-end.

—Conatumumab. This drug, also called AMG-655, is a genetically-engineered antibody designed to trigger a programmed cell death process in cancer cells, known as apoptosis. This drug is in mid-stage clinical trials for colorectal cancer. Results from a mid stage study of patients with sarcoma and non-small cell lung cancer are expected by the end of the year.

—Another drug designed to trigger apoptosis in cancer cells, called dulanermin, is being developed together with Genentech/Roche in combination with rituximab (Rituxan) for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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