Positive results for Amgen’s Repatha but shares drop by 6.4% and company loses 8bn in capitalization

Amgen on Friday reported results from the FOURIER clinical trial assessing PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha (evolocumab), the cholesterol-lowering drug developed by the US-based biotech company. In the study, conducted on 27,564 patients over 2.2 years, Repatha showed far higher efficacy in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes as compared to standard treatments with statin drugs (+20%). Despite this positive news, Amgen’s shares (NASDAQ) dropped by 6.4% and lost 8bn in capitalization, since investors are skeptical that Amgen will convince insurers to pay for a therapy which costs $14,500 per year. Amgen has tried to solve the problem by offering health insurers to refund the cost to payers in case patients suffer a heart attack or stroke during the treatment. Repatha, approved in 2015, has already generated $141m in sales in 2016, of which $101m in the US. (Source: WSJ)