Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

said Wednesday that U.S. drug regulators have granted finalapproval for its rheumatoid arthritis drug, Kineret.

The green light from the Food and Drug Administration follows apositive recommendation from the agency's advisory panel, issued Aug. 16.

Kineret works by blocking the protein interleukin-1, present in excessamounts in rheumatoid arthritis patients, thereby reducing jointinflammation and pain.

But the drug has not yet proven to be as effective as existingtreatments like

I mmunex's

(IMNX)

Enbrel or Remicade from

Johnson &Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, so most Wall Street analysts have forecast relatively low sales estimates. The FDA approved Kineret for patients who have failed one or more existing rheumatoid arthritis treatments.

Amgen shares were trading down 43 cents to $57.56 per share in recenttrading.