Biosimilars growth and a strong base business drove growth in the quarter ending on Sept. 30.
The company has been relatively steady in 2020, growing 11% in the first quarter and 6% in the second. “Our performance in the third quarter reflects an encouraging recovery from the depths of the pandemic and was largely consistent with what we anticipated,” said Amgen CEO Robert A. Bradway in an earning call.
October, however, was a rough month for the company’s stock, which fell nearly 12% from $245.41 on Oct. 2 to $216.94 on Oct. 30.
The company hopes the experimental cancer drug sotorasib and potential asthma and atopic dermatitis drug tezepelumab will fuel future growth.
Bradway is optimistic that COVID-19 will be an ultimate positive for the company and the industry at large. “Overall, I remain optimistic that innovation from the biopharma industry will break the back of this pandemic, with vaccines antibodies and other therapeutics that are being developed with unprecedented speed and collaboration,” he said.
Some journalists and analysts, however, have questioned Amgen’s long-term growth potential. Amgen’s pipeline is “in dire straits,” concluded Jacob Plieth, a senior reporter at Evaluate Vantage on Oct. 9. Similarly, analysts at UBS concluded in an Amgen Q3 research note that “headwinds to growth [are] mounting.” Future growth could hinge on the future success of tezepelumab, they concluded.
Tezepelumab is now the subject of a phase 3 study involving patients with severe uncontrolled asthma.