The word AMGen is a portmanteau of the company's original name, Applied Molecular Genetics, which became the official name of the company in 1983 (three years after incorporation and coincident with its initial public offering). The company's first chief executive officer, from 1980, was George B. Rathmann, followed by Gordon M. Binder in 1988, followed by Kevin W. Sharer in 2000. Robert A. Bradway became Amgen’s president and chief executive officer in May 2012 following Sharer's retirement.
In June 2013, Amgen offered to buy the shares of Onyx Pharmaceuticals for $120 per share, sending Onyx shares up by around 30% after the news was announced.
1989. Amgen received approval for the first recombinant human erythropoetin product, Epogen, for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney failure. Epogen (also marketed by Johnson and Johnson under the tradename Procrit) would later be approved for anemia due to cancer chemotherapy, anemia due to treatment with certain HIV drugs, and for the reduction of the need for transfusions associated with surgery.
1991. In February 1991, Amgen received FDA approval for Neupogen for the prevention of infections in patients whose immune systems are suppressed due to cancer chemotherapy. A 2002 meta-analysis found that Neupogen treatment reduced the risk of febrile neutropenia by 38%, reduced the risk of documented infection by 49%, and reduced the risk of infection-related mortality by 40%.
1998. In November 1998, Amgen received approval for Enbrel (etanercept), the first rheumatoid arthritis drug targeting tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). A 2006 assessment by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence of the United Kingdom concluded that etanercept and related rheumatoid arthritis drugs later introduced by competitors "are effective treatments compared with placebo for RA patients who are not well controlled by conventional DMARDs, improving control of symptoms, improving physical function, and slowing radiographic changes in joints." A more recent study demonstrated that compared to traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, treatment with etanercept improved survival, reduced cardiovascular events and reduced the incidence of hematological cancers.
2008. Forbes magazine ranks AMGEN CEO Kevin Sharer 169 out of 175. Rankings were based on performance versus pay metrics.[dead link]
2009. Sen. Edward Kennedy introduced a bill granting AMGEN and other biotech companies more than 13 years of marketing exclusivity. Kennedy Institute receives $5 million from Amgen.
2010. On June 6, 2010 Amgen received FDA approval for Prolia, a protein drug for the treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis. In clinical trials, Prolia reduced the rate of vertebral fractures by 61% and the risk of hip fractures by 40%.
2010 In November 2010 the FDA approved Xgeva for the prevention of complications of bone metastases in patients with solid tumors. The clinical trials primarily enrolled patients with breast or prostate cancer.
2012. Illegal marketing practices. The Los Angeles Times reported on December 18, 2012, that AMGEN pled guilty and agreed to pay $150 million in criminal penalty and $612 million to resolve 11 related whistleblower complaints. Federal prosecutors accused the company of pursuing profits while putting patients at risk. Larry Husten, a contributor at Forbes.com elaborates on AMGEN's illegal marketing practices in this case, namely that the "government accused Amgen of marketing Aranesp for indications not approved by the FDA and other illegal marketing practices". One of the drugs mentioned in the lawsuit had sales of $492 million in the third quarter of 2012, down 17% from the same quarter the previous year due to "reimbursement problems and label changes".
2012. Amgen paid $762 million after pleading guilty to criminal charges of improper promotion and sale of misbranded drugs.
2013. Lawmakers inserted text into the fiscal cliff bill that will allow the drugmaker to sell a class of drugs that includes Sensipar without government controls for an additional two years. The New York Times estimated that the paragraph in the fiscal cliff bill will cost taxpayers an estimated $500 million but other assessments concluded that the change would protect seniors in rural areas and reduce overall Medicare spending. A nonprofit group, led by Russ Feingold, filed a petition against Amgen's fiscal cliff deal at the end of January.
2013 Amgen halted pediatric studies of its parathyroid drug Sensipar after the death of a 14-year-old patient in a company trial. The FDA has stated that it is unclear whether the death is drug-related.
XGEVA (denosumab) (for the prevention of skeletal-related events (SREs) (pathological fracture, radiation to bone, spinal cord compression or surgery to bone in adults with bone metastases from solid tumors)
^Chen YF, Jobanputra P, Barton P, et al. (November 2006). "A systematic review of the effectiveness of adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults and an economic evaluation of their cost-effectiveness". Health Technol Assess10 (42): iii–iv, xi–xiii, 1–229. PMID17049139.
^Morgan CL, Emery P, Porter D, et al. (January 2014). "Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with etanercept with reference to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs: long-term safety and survival using prospective, observational data". Rheumatology (Oxford)53 (1): 186–94. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket333. PMID24140761.