Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) has announced that it has filed an application with the FDA, to expand the use of Blincyto, an immunotherapy drug treatment of leukemia. AMGN believes that the drug can be used for treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-negative, in pediatric and adolescent patients. As per the details of the filing, the company already has the data to support its claims.
The application was filed after AMGN conducted phase I and II clinical study of the drug. It was found that a significant number of patients were able to completely remit the disease. Initially, Blincyto had gained approval of the FDA for treatment of adult patients, with the same disorder, in December 2014. Currently, the survival rate of adolescent patients with conditions is less than 10%. Furthermore, the drugs that are currently in use with the said population, have poor long-term outcomes.
If AMGN is able to gain this approval, it can further increase its sales. The drug has already been moved into a phase III study at the company and a phase II study in adults is underway, for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Apart from making progress with its drugs and trying to boost sales, AMGN has also announced that it would be paying a quarterly dividend of $1, for 2Q2016, due to be paid on June 8. Stockholders on record as of May 17 would be eligible for the payout. Currently, AMGN holds a buy rating from Zacks. However, other large biotech companies, mostly, hold a buy rating from the analyst.
The executive VP of R&D at Amgen, Sean E. Harper, stated that children, who suffer from a relapse of ALL, have poor long-term outcomes. He also added that remission inducing therapies are scarce for this population. He also affirmed his faith Blincyto being the answer to these problems.
Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) closed at a share price of $147.49, after losing 0.61% and having a trade volume of 3.69 million during the March 2 trading session.