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Earlier this year biotech giant Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) bought out Abgenix on the hopes that its potential blockbuster drug for metastatic colorectal cancer would be a big hit.

The deal paid off as Amgen announced after the markets closed on Wednesday that the FDA approved Vectibix, a fully human monoclonal anti-EGF to fight colorectal cancer, for sale in the U.S. while approval in Canada and Europe still awaits. The company expects sales to begin in October, and to cost as much as 20% less than competing drugs.

Vectibix works by binding to and disrupting epidermal growth factors (EGFs) that play a role in the regulation of cell growth, including cancerous cells. It has been shown that the drug can reduce the progression of metastatic colorectal cancer in patients, and is the first fully human anti-EGF to be approved by the FDA.

It is estimated that as many as 150,000 new cases of colon cancer and about 42,000 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed this year.

Amgen is also looking into the use of Vectibix in treating other forms of cancer.

Source: Amgen's Buyout of Abgenix Pays Off