THOUSAND OAKS, CA, May 31, 2003 - Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN), the world's largest biotechnology company, announced today that it has established the Amgen Oncology Institute to support the work of scientists seeking innovative approaches to cancer treatment and to foster the education of individuals committed to a career in cancer research.
Amgen is dedicated to conducting research toward understanding the biology of cancer and the discovery and development of innovative treatments for cancer. The Institute will fund fellowships and junior faculty positions, as well as provide educational grants to universities, individual scientists and organizations committed to pursuing advances in cancer treatment and supportive care.
"The Amgen Oncology Institute is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to the field of oncology and the individuals engaged in the fight against cancer," said David Parkinson, MD, Vice President and Head of the Clinical Oncology Therapeutic Area at Amgen.
An advisory committee comprised of some of the leaders in cancer research will review grant requests from academic and research institutions and provide overall guidance to the Institute. Advisory committee members include:
• James O. Armitage, MD, Dean, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska
• Douglas W. Blayney, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Michigan
• David C. Dale, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Washington
"The Amgen Oncology Institute will allow some of our most promising young minds to continue their development and explore new avenues of cancer research," said Committee Member Dr. Dale. "The Amgen Oncology Institute will help researchers make important breakthroughs in the basic causes of cancer and continue to improve the care of patients with malignant diseases."
Oncology is one of Amgen's three main areas of focus. Recently, Amgen launched significant advances in supportive care treatments for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Neulasta™ (pegfilgrastim) and Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa) manage chemotherapy-related infection and anemia, respectively, with less-frequent dosing than other existing treatments. In recognition of its commitment to oncology, Amgen plans to commit $10 million to the Institute over the next five years.
For more information about the Amgen Oncology Institute, please visit www.AmgenOncologyInstitute.com.
Neulasta™ (pegfilgrastim) is indicated to decrease the incidence of infection, as manifested by febrile neutropenia, in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies receiving myelosuppressive anticancer drugs associated with a clinically significant incidence of febrile neutropenia.
In clinical trials, the most common adverse event attributed to Neulasta™ therapy following combination chemotherapy in patients (n = 465) with lymphoma and solid tumors was bone pain, reported in 26% of patients. The only serious adverse event not attributed to underlying disease or chemotherapy was a case of hypoxia. While not reported in patients receiving Neulasta™, rare events of adult respiratory distress syndrome, splenic rupture, and sickle cell crisis have been reported in patients receiving the parent compound, Filgrastim.
Aranesp® (darbepoetin alfa) is indicated for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia in patients with nonmyeloid malignancies.
Aranesp® is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. Erythropoietic therapies may increase the risk of thrombotic and other serious events; dose reductions are recommended if the hemoglobin increase exceeds 1.0 g/dL in any 2-week period. The most commonly reported side effects in Aranesp® trials were fatigue, edema, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dyspnea.
Amgen is a global biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets important human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology.
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