Two Amgen Drugs Cleared in Europe

Amgen ( AMGN), the world's largest biotechnology company, said it received final regulatory approval in Europe for two cancer drugs.

Following a Phase 3 clinical trial, the European Commission approved Aranesp to treat anemia in adult patients receiving chemotherapy for solid tumors. The drug is already used to treat chronic kidney disease. The commission also signed off on Neulasta, which is designed to reduce neutropenia, a severe side effect of chemotherapy.

The Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company said that 50% to 60% of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy may suffer from anemia, which causes dizziness, exhaustion, shortness of breath and difficulty in carrying out daily activities.

Neutropenia is severe condition characterized by a dramatic decline in the number of white blood cells called neutrophils, which play a vital role in defending the body against most types of infection.

"This approval and the launch that follows will expand our commitment to dramatically improving the lives of patients with cancer. We are tremendously excited about bringing this major therapeutic advance to oncology patients throughout Europe," the company said in a press release.

The approvals announced today in Europe come shortly after similar endorsements of Neulasta and Aranesp for oncology by the Food and Drug Administration. Amgen shares were climbing 1.9% to $46.08 before the bell.

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