THOUSAND OAKS, CA, USA and BASEL, SWITZERLAND - May 7, 2002 - Roche and Amgen
(NASDAQ:AMGN), announced today that Amgen has purchased from Roche the assets
and business related to filgrastim and pegfilgrastim in the European Union, Switzerland
Filgrastim and pegfilgrastim are white-cell boosting therapeutics
that are used to decrease the incidence of neutropenia, which can lead to patients
contracting potentially life threatening infections following chemotherapy.
Filgrastim has been commercialized by Amgen and Roche under the Neupogen(R) and
Granulokine(R) trade names. Amgen also currently markets in the U.S. pegfilgrastim,
as NeulastaTM, a long-acting version of filgrastim.
In December 2001 Roche announced the planned merger of
its Japanese subsidiary with the Japanese company Chugai. As a result of this
merger, Roche is selling part of its European filgrastim and pegfilgrastim business
to Amgen, as Chugai commercializes a competitive drug.
Amgen will pay Roche $137.5 million for this acquisition.
Roche will continue as the licensee for filgrastim and pegfilgrastim in certain
countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
About Filgrastim and Pegfilgrastim
Filgrastim and pegfilgrastim are a supportive part of treatment for many patients
receiving cancer chemotherapy. Some cancer drugs, in addition to attacking the
cancer, destroy the patient´s white blood cells, which are extremely important
in fighting infection. Consequently, these patients are prone to developing
severe, and even life-threatening, infections. Filgrastim and pegfilgrastim
restore the number of white blood cells and thus improve their ability to kill
Amgen is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures
and markets important human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular
biology. Amgen is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, USA, with European headquarters
in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world´s leading research-oriented
healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and vitamins.
Roche´s innovative products and services address prevention, diagnosis and treatment
of diseases, thus enhancing people´s well-being and quality of life.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve significant
risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and more fully described
in the Securities and Exchange Commission reports filed by Amgen, including
our most recent Form 10-Q. Amgen conducts research in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical
field where movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there
can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate will be successful
and become a commercial product.
Furthermore, our research, testing, pricing, marketing
and other operations are subject to extensive regulation by domestic and foreign
government regulatory authorities. In addition, sales of our products are affected
by reimbursement policies imposed by third party payors, including governments,
private insurance plans and managed care providers. These government regulations
and reimbursement policies may affect the development, usage and pricing of
In addition, while we routinely obtain patents for our
products and technology, the protection offered by our patents and patent applications
may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by our competitors.
Because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties,
actual results may differ materially from current results expected by Amgen.
Amgen is providing this information as of May 7, 2002 and expressly disclaims
any duty to update information contained in this press release.
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CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Jeff Richardson, 805/447-3227 (media)
Cary Rosansky, 805/447-4634 (investors)
Jacqueline Wallach, 41-61-688-8888