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Amgen Announces Launch Of Blood Counts™ And Collaboration With StoryCorps To Record And Share Stories Of Those Impacted By Multiple Myeloma

Through Sharing of Stories, Program Brings Awareness to Progress Made in Treating Multiple Myeloma
Campaign Kicks off at 58th ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition With Recordings at StoryCorps MobileBooth in San Diego

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced the launch of Blood Counts, a national campaign dedicated to raising awareness of multiple myeloma and the importance of continued research to further advancements in treating this incurable blood cancer. As part of Blood Counts, Amgen will work with StoryCorps to record and share first-hand accounts from patients, caregivers, advocacy groups, physicians and others within the multiple myeloma community. The first stories will be recorded at the StoryCorps MobileBooth in the Lexus Premier Lot at Petco Park from Dec. 3-5, 2016, during the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego.

"The 'telling of stories' goes back thousands of years, and most of us have memories of being told a story and listening with rapt attention. It takes us to another place," said Susie Novis Durie, president and founder of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF). "The IMF strongly believes that sharing experiences through storytelling is a powerful tool for the multiple myeloma community and applauds Amgen for this campaign to raise awareness of the disease."

Storytelling can be a helpful way for people to cope with cancer.1 In addition to showing effects in four areas – cognitive, affective, interpersonal and personal – hearing others' stories can also provide hope for cancer patients and their families.1 In 2017, Blood Counts will continue to record additional conversations from the multiple myeloma community. Those interested in sharing their personal experience or work in the field are encouraged to sign up to participate at www.BloodCounts.com.  

"StoryCorps gives everyday people, including those who are facing serious illness, the opportunity to record meaningful conversations about who they are, what they've learned in life, and what matters most to them. We share these stories to build compassion and offer hope to others," said Braden Lay-Michaels, chief external relations officer at StoryCorps. "We're pleased to work with Amgen to offer people whose lives have been affected by multiple myeloma the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their personal stories for generations to come."

Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer characterized by a recurring pattern of remission and relapse.2 Each patient's journey is different and will often require different approaches over time, but what remains the biggest hurdle is the ongoing cycle of success and failure in therapy.2 Lack of awareness around multiple myeloma can lead to delayed diagnoses, which can have a significant impact on the clinical course of the disease.3

"Over the past decade, we have seen significant advances in treating multiple myeloma, which have made a difference in the lives of those impacted by the disease,"2 said Reshma Kewalramani, M.D., vice president and head, U.S. Medical at Amgen. "However, the majority of patients have no knowledge of the disease or available treatments at diagnosis.4 We hope that by sharing stories and experiences from the community, we can help educate about multiple myeloma and celebrate the progress made, as we move closer to accomplishing our mission of finding a cure."

"Blood Counts is important as it gives the multiple myeloma community a platform to raise awareness of this incurable disease through the power of storytelling," said Richard Paulson, vice president and general manager, Oncology Business Unit at Amgen. "We encourage those impacted by multiple myeloma to join us in this effort and sign up to share their personal experiences as we continue this effort in 2017."

About Blood Counts
Blood Counts is a national effort to raise awareness about multiple myeloma through the collection and sharing of personal stories. While progress has been made in treating this rare blood cancer over the past decade, multiple myeloma remains incurable. Each patient's journey is different and often includes different approaches over time, but what remains the biggest hurdle is the ever-tightening cycle of success and failure in therapy. Through real-life accounts of persistence and hope, Blood Counts aims to shed a light on what matters most when it comes to treating blood cancer.

About StoryCorps
StoryCorps' mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more compassionate and just world. StoryCorps is currently one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in the country. Each week, millions listen to StoryCorps' award-winning broadcasts on NPR's Morning Edition. Since its founding in 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 60,000 interviews from more than 100,000 participants from across the country who visit one of our recording sites, and all digital audio recordings are archived in the Library of Congress. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. For more information or to listen to stories online, visit storycorps.org.

About Amgen's Commitment to Oncology
Amgen Oncology is committed to helping patients take on some of the toughest cancers, such as those that have been resistant to drugs, those that progress rapidly through the body and those where limited treatment options exist. Amgen's supportive care treatments help patients combat certain side effects of strong chemotherapy, and our targeted medicines and immunotherapies focus on more than a dozen different malignancies, ranging from blood cancers to solid tumors. With decades of experience providing therapies for cancer patients, Amgen continues to grow its portfolio of innovative and biosimilar oncology medicines.

About Amgen
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.

Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the current expectations and beliefs of Amgen. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial metrics, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, reimbursement activities and outcomes and other such estimates and results. Forward-looking statements 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 annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. Unless otherwise noted, Amgen is providing this information as of the date of this news release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those we project.  Discovery or identification of new product candidates or development of new indications for existing products cannot be guaranteed and movement from concept to product is uncertain; consequently, there can be no guarantee that any particular product candidate or development of a new indication for an existing product will be successful and become a commercial product. Further, preclinical results do not guarantee safe and effective performance of product candidates in humans. The complexity of the human body cannot be perfectly, or sometimes, even adequately modeled by computer or cell culture systems or animal models. The length of time that it takes for us to complete clinical trials and obtain regulatory approval for product marketing has in the past varied and we expect similar variability in the future. Even when clinical trials are successful, regulatory authorities may question the sufficiency for approval of the trial endpoints we have selected. We develop product candidates internally and through licensing collaborations, partnerships and joint ventures. Product candidates that are derived from relationships may be subject to disputes between the parties or may prove to be not as effective or as safe as we may have believed at the time of entering into such relationship. Also, we or others could identify safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with our products after they are on the market.

Our results may be affected by our ability to successfully market both new and existing products domestically and internationally, clinical and regulatory developments involving current and future products, sales growth of recently launched products, competition from other products including biosimilars, difficulties or delays in manufacturing our products and global economic conditions. In addition, sales of our products are affected by pricing pressure, political and public scrutiny and reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payers, including governments, private insurance plans and managed care providers and may be affected by regulatory, clinical and guideline developments and domestic and international trends toward managed care and healthcare cost containment. Furthermore, our research, testing, pricing, marketing and other operations are subject to extensive regulation by domestic and foreign government regulatory authorities. We or others could identify safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with our products after they are on the market. Our business may be impacted by government investigations, litigation and product liability claims. In addition, our business may be impacted by the adoption of new tax legislation or exposure to additional tax liabilities. If we fail to meet the compliance obligations in the corporate integrity agreement between us and the U.S. government, we could become subject to significant sanctions. Further, 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, or we may fail to prevail in present and future intellectual property litigation. We perform a substantial amount of our commercial manufacturing activities at a few key facilities and also depend on third parties for a portion of our manufacturing activities, and limits on supply may constrain sales of certain of our current products and product candidate development. In addition, we compete with other companies with respect to many of our marketed products as well as for the discovery and development of new products. Further, some raw materials, medical devices and component parts for our products are supplied by sole third-party suppliers. The discovery of significant problems with a product similar to one of our products that implicate an entire class of products could have a material adverse effect on sales of the affected products and on our business and results of operations. Our efforts to acquire other companies or products and to integrate the operations of companies we have acquired may not be successful. We may not be able to access the capital and credit markets on terms that are favorable to us, or at all. We are increasingly dependent on information technology systems, infrastructure and data security. Our stock price is volatile and may be affected by a number of events. Our business performance could affect or limit the ability of our Board of Directors to declare a dividend or our ability to pay a dividend or repurchase our common stock.

CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Kristen Davis, 805-447-3008 (Media)
Kristen Neese, 805-313-8267 (Media)
Arvind Sood, 805-447-1060 (Investors)

References

1.

Chelf, J, et al. Storytelling: a strategy for living and coping with cancer. Cancer Nurs. 2000;23(1):1-5.

2.

Jakubowiak A. Management strategies for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma: current clinical perspectives. Semin Hematol. 2012, 49 (Suppl 1): S16-S32.

3.

Kariyawasan, CC, et al. Multiple myeloma: causes and consequences of delay in diagnosis. Q J Med. 2007;100:635-640.

4.

Ailawadhi, S. et al. Current state of patient awareness and participation in care for multiple myeloma and the psychophysical impact of treatment: an international internet-based study. Blood. 2014;124:1294.

 

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