January 30, 2023
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European regulators approve Amgen cancer drug Kyprolis


Thousand Oaks-based Amgen scored another major victory Nov. 19.

European regulators approved experimental drug Kyprolis on Thursday for patients who have received at least one prior treatment for multiple-myeloma. Kyprolis was the cornerstone of Amgen’s $10.4 billion buyout of Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2013.

Multiple-myeloma is a form of blood cancer that forms in plasma cells and typically grows in bone marrow. According to the American Cancer Society, 27,000 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple-myeloma in 2015 and 11,000 will die from the disease. Amgen said in a news release that 39,000 Europeans are diagnosed with multiple-myeloma and 24,000 patients die from the disease each year.

Kyprolis works by preventing the breakdown of proteins in cancer cells, which cause the cancer cells to die.

In July, the FDA approved Kyprolis for second-line treatments of multiple-myeloma as well. Like many recent Amgen drugs, Kyprolis has been criticized for its high cost because it typically costs $10,000 per 28-day cycle.

• Contact Philip Joens at pjoens@pacbiztimes.com