Analysts Upbeat on Amgen's Kyprolis After ASCO Abstracts

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Two research firms had positive comments on Amgen  (AMGN) in the wake of data released ahead of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, conference. According to Nomura, disappointing data on a drug that competes with Amgen's Kyprolis removes a key overhang for Amgen. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs was upbeat on safety data for Kyprolis that was released at the conference. Kyprolis is used to treat a blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

WHAT'S NEW: Disappointing data on elotuzumab in multiple myeloma removes a key overhang on Amgen, as elotuzumab is a key competitor of Kyprolis, Nomura analyst M. Ian Somaiya wrote. The data on elotuzumab increases the likelihood of Kyprolis sales beating expectations, the analyst believes. Elotuzumab is being developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb  (BMY) and AbbVie  (ABBV). Meanwhile, Goldman analyst Terence Flynn wrote that safety data for Kyprolis that was released ahead of the conference should bolster the drug's profile. Specifically, the lower rate of peripheral neuropathy among patients taking the drug was positive, Flynn indicated. That data point, along with what the analyst called Kyprolis' "impressive progressive free survival advantage," supports a favorable risk/reward profile for the drug, according to the analyst, who kept a Buy rating on the shares.

PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Amgen gained 0.9% to $159.73, Bristol-Myers Squibb lost 1.3% to $66.52, and AbbVie was flat at $65.33.

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