biotechnology

Amgen drugs may boost survival after a nuclear attack

BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO
DRUGS FROM AMGEN INC., which has a facility in West Greenwich, could boost survival after a nuclear attack, according to U.S. regulators.
Posted 5/1/13

WASHINGTON – Amgen Inc.’s Neulasta and Neupogen and a similar blood-boosting drug from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. may help people survive after a nuclear attack, U.S. regulators said.

Medications known as leukocyte growth factors, which also include Sanofi’s Leukine, may help decrease death rates from radiation exposure, Food and Drug Administration staff said today in a report. FDA staff reviewed a National Institutes of Health study on monkeys exposed to radiation that were given Neupogen. Agency advisers plan to meet May 3 to discuss whether the animal study is sufficient to approve the use for humans.

This is the first time an FDA advisory committee will consider a medical countermeasure for use in a radiological or nuclear incident, the staff said. Neulasta, Amgen’s second best- selling drug, and Neupogen together generated about $5.4 billion in sales last year for the Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The drugs are given by injections.

“The FDA-approval of a product for use in a radiological/nuclear setting will facilitate access to this product in the event of such an emergency,” FDA staff said in the report.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases runs a program to develop radiation and nuclear countermeasures.

Of the 24 monkeys that took Neupogen in the NIH study, 79 percent survived after 60 days, compared with 41 percent of the 22 monkeys who didn’t take the drug, FDA staff said. NIH stopped the trial after studying 46 animals because of the comparison.

The drugs are currently used by cancer patients to boost infection-fighting white blood cells lowered by chemotherapy treatments. Amgen’s treatments and the product from Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva are filgrastims, which the American Cancer Society says is a man-made version of a protein in the body that stimulates the bone marrow to make white blood cells.

Amgen shares rose 2.1 percent to $106.40 at 9:51 a.m. New York time.

No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Only a few seats remain for PBN's Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Don't hesitate. Register today!
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News