BofA note spooks Amgen, Ligand investors

|About: Amgen Inc. (AMGN)|By:, SA News Editor

After opening higher, shares of Amgen (AMGN -2.9%) moved into negative territory this morning and have since traded notably lower on above average volume.

The weakness looks to be attributable to BofA/ Merrill Lynch. Here's what the firm had to say regarding a meeting with Celgene's (CELG +1.8%) management: "The most notable derivative commentary was around AMGN's Kyprolis. CELG is hearing increasing concerns from big myeloma centers on CV events."

They continue: CELG "has access to the event rate in ASPIRE and believes the full story has yet to fully play out." While BofA says CELG "was not tossing away Kyprolis" they did seem to suggest that "it could be reserved with Revlimid/Dexamethasone for high risk myeloma." ASPIRE combines Kyrpolis, Revlimid, and Dexamethasone.

Now, Cowen is apparently out defending AMGN, saying any CELG commentary might have been taken out of context.

Also down sharply are shares of Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND -5.7%) which receives tiered royalties tied to the use of Captisol technology in the drug.