Amgen test results looming

The so-called 145 study involving the biotech company's top-selling Aranesp anemia drug is getting so much attention on Wall Street that Amgen said that it would delay the release of first-quarter earnings by four days to include "top-line results" from the research. The big question is whether anemia drugs like Aranesp actually feed the growth of tumors. Last month, the FDA warned doctors to use the lowest dose that can effectively avoid the need for blood transfusions - not a great sign. If the test results are not good, it could have a big impact on sales. From Reuters:

"If it shows a very clear mortality trend against Aranesp that would be the strongest result we've seen so far on this drug's safety issues and that could lead to even stronger warnings and more reduction in use, but I don't think you will see a huge success for failure from this study," said Cowen and Co. analyst Eric Schmidt.

The Amgen soap opera took another unexpected twist yesterday when CFO Richard Nanula unexpectedly resigned. None of this is doing much for the stock, at one time one of Wall Street's top performers. With less than an hour to go, shares are down about 1 percent, and they're off around 25 percent since January. Of course, the anemia stuff is just one of Amgen's many problems, as discussed a couple of months back.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Siri versus Hawaiian pidgin (video)
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook