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Amgen Blood Cancer Drug Meets Primary Endpoint In Late-Stage Study

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) Monday said its blood cancer drug Kyprolis in combination with two other drugs helped patients live significantly longer compared to standard treatment.

The California-based drug giant said patients with relapsed multiple myeloma when treated with Kyprolis in combination with Revlimid and low-dose dexamethasone lived 8.7 months longer without disease worsening compared to patients treated with only Revlimid and low-dose dexamethasone.

Multiple myeloma is the second most common hematologic cancer that results from an abnormality of plasma cells, usually in the bone marrow. In the US, about 70,000 people are living with multiple myeloma and around 24,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.

The FDA had granted accelerated approval of Kyprolis for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma in 2012. Kyprolis is marketed in the US by Amgen's subsidiary Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The study called Aspire was conducted on 792 patients. Amgen said patients treated with Kyprolis lived for a median of 26.3 months without disease worsening, a significant improvement compared to the 17.6 months in patients who received standard treatment.

Chief Executive Robert Bradway said "Our mission at Amgen is to serve patients by advancing medicines that address serious disease. Kyprolis is an important building block in our robust, differentiated pipeline."

AMGN is currently trading at $126.84, up $1.29 or 1.03%, on the Nasdaq.

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