Notes from the Cowen and Co. Annual Health Care Conference, being held this week in Boston:

At a Monday morning session on bone loss due to cancer treatments and osteoporosis, doctors and investors in the audience were bullish on Amgen's ( AMGN) bone-loss drug denosumab, and less so about GTX's ( GTXI) toremifene.

Both drugs are currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with approval decisions expected in October. Amgen's denosumab was seen as more likely to receive a timely FDA approval than GTX's toremifene, according to separate surveys of doctors and investors conducted by Cowen and shared Monday with attendees of the conference.

Bone loss caused by prostate cancer hormone therapy has not always been a high priority for doctors, but that's changing, with a majority of doctors polled by Cowen calling bone loss in these men a "negative consequence" that can and should be treated.

Denosumab was seen as the commercial winner over toremifene, according to the Cowen survey. Denosumab was also preferred over Novartis' ( NVS) Zometa, in part because urologists who treat prostate cancer patients can more easily administer denosumab, given as a simple injection, over Zometa, which required an intravenous infusion.

Amgen is further studying the use of denosumab in other cancer-related conditions, including a phase III study designed to determine whether the drug can delay or prevent prostate cancer from spreading to bones. Results from this study are expected next year.

A majority of doctors and investors surveyed by Cowen believe denosumab will be effective in delaying so-called "bony metastases" in prostate cancer patients, which would open an entirely new avenue of treatment for the disease.

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