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Amgen on Wednesday reported first-quarter revenues that fell short of Wall Street expectations, sending shares in the biotech group down more than 3 per cent in after-hours trading.
The company generated sales of $5.46bn versus analysts’ estimate of $5.61bn, although it beat forecasts for adjusted earnings per share, which were $3.15 compared to the consensus expectation of $2.99.
Sales of Repatha, a new cholesterol medicine, were particularly weak. The medicine generated revenues of $49m in the quarter, whereas analysts had typically penciled in $74m.
The launch of the $14,000-a-year drug had been tipped for blockbuster status with sales in excess of $4bn a year. However, the medicine has been bedeviled by the publication of a large long-term trial that showed it had prevented heart attacks and strokes but not the overall number of deaths.
Amgen has since offered to refund the price of the drug if a patient has a stroke or heart attack while taking the medicine.
“We are working with payers to improve access to this important therapy for patients at risk for heart attacks and strokes,” said chief executive Robert Bradway.